Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

WV State News

September 20, 2012

Cobalt Coal asks judge to dismiss royalties case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The operator of the mine featured on Spike TV's reality show "Coal" wants a judge to dismiss a lawsuit over mining royalties.

In a motion in U.S. District Court in Charleston, Cobalt Coal says federal courts lack jurisdiction because the companies involved are all in West Virginia.

It also says Encoal Energy and Gopher Land Services agreed to binding arbitration to resolve disputes.

Encoal and Gopher sued Cobalt last month. They say they'd signed an agreement with Cobalt in 2010. It gave them 4 percent of the average gross sales price per ton of coal sold, as long as that price remained under $95 per ton.

Some months, they say Cobalt made those payments. In others, the payments were made by Westchester Coal LP.

But in May, the payments stopped.

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