West Virginia coal mine begins wind-down

The longtime underground coal operation formerly known as Blacksville 2 has begun its permanent shutdown in northern West Virginia.

The Monongalia County mine, along the West Virginia-Pennsylvania border, began phase one of its shuttering on Aug. 9. The second phase of closure will take place from Sept. 7-21.

In all, 180 workers will be permanently laid off.

The mine is owned by American Consolidated Natural Resources, which is the company that emerged from the bankruptcy proceedings of Ohio-based coal miner Murray Energy last year.

Murray and its late namesake, Robert E. Murray, purchased the mine along with four others, all longwalls, in 2013 from CONSOL Energy in a $3.5 billion deal.

In 2018, the coal mine produced about 4.4 million tons.

ACNR produces a combined 49 million tons of coal annually from its operations in Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Alabama and Utah.

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