Contura curtails work at mines

US-based producer Contura Energy has announced the idling of the majority of its operations in the Appalachian region, a move that will also send hundreds of its workers to the unemployment line, as it continues to fight off the spread of COVID-19
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The majority of Contura operations will be idled for a period of approximately 30 days, some longer

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Officials said that, in addition to market conditions, current inventory levels and anticipated customer demand also played a role in its decision.

"Beginning April 3, the majority of Contura operations will be idled for a period of approximately 30 days, with some sites idling for shorter periods of time and a few continuing to operate at a near-normal rate of production," executives said.

Location-specific schedules are being implemented based on need, and as such some of its prep plants, docks, and loadouts will continue to operate. Chairman and CEO David Stetson noted that, regardless of production schedule or idle status, all of its mines will be monitored and maintained for both environmental and safety compliance.

Local news station WVNS outlined a total of 310 layoffs from the idling plan: 100 at Aracoma Alma; 199 at Spartan Ruby; 55 at Cedar Grove 2; and 55 at Hernshall. All are located in southern West Virginia.

Contura has also withdrawn its whole-year guidance for 2020. CFO Andy Eidson said more details will likely be available when it releases its March quarter earnings report.

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