Patriot Coal, based in St. Louis, plans to permanently close a valuable coal mine in West Virginia. The mine in question is Harris No.1 min near Wharton. The operations were suspended last week after a cave in damaged the main conveyer belt.
The mine life was to end in 2011 but due to the adverse geologic conditions in the primary conveyor belt and travel entries of the mine the company took the decision to close the mine before time. Patriot made no comment on the financial implications.
Harris No.1 produces metallurgical coal worth $235 a ton to steelmakers. It produced 619,701 tons last year. The company did warn Wall Street that the second quarter results will be reduced by the temporary shutdown.
About 170 people work at the mine. As per Patriot a limited number of people will continue to be employed at Harris No.1 to close and reclaim the mine site as per state and federal regulations. Patriot Coal Corp is the third largest producer and marketer of coal in eastern US.