Blackhawk Mining unit the auction winner at James River Coal

After an Aug. 18-20 auction, James River Coal and its attorneys/advisers have chosen stalking horse bidder JR Acquisition LLC as the winning bidder for a number of James River Coal assets, said the company in an Aug. 21 filing at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Due to the fact that the auction went overtime, the court has pushed back an Aug. 20 hearing to look at auction results to Aug. 26. James River Coal is a major producer of coal in Central Appalachia and a significant coal producer in Indiana. It sought Chapter 11 protection earlier this year.

JR Acquisition is a subsidiary of Blackhawk Mining LLC. Its wining bid is for the Hampden Complex in southern West Virginia (including the assets of coal marketer Logan & Kanawha Coal Co. LLC), the Hazard Complex in eastern Kentucky (other than the assets of Laurel Mountain Resources LLC) and the Triad Complex in Indiana for an aggregate purchase price of $52m plus the assumption of certain liabilities.

James River Coal publicly announced Aug. 21 that it has accepted, subject to court approval, a committed and binding bid from JR Acquisition. Together the to-be-sold complexes employ over 900 of the James River Coal workforce. 

The winning bid was originally selected as the stalking horse bidder in advance of the auction. The three-day auction included multiple bids by multiple bidders. Ultimately, the stalking horse bidder’s winning bid at the conclusion of the auction included numerous structural enhancements and price improvements from the original stalking horse bid, James River Coal said. 

The sale is expected to close on or about Aug. 29 and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Blackhawk Mining was founded by veteran coal operator Mitch Potter in 2010 and owns and operates two coal mining complexes in eastern Kentucky with production capacity of about 6.5 million tons/year. The Spurlock complex is  in Floyd and Magoffin counties and produces specialty and thermal coal from surface and underground mines. The Pine Branch complex is in Knott, Breathitt, Perry and Leslie counties and produces thermal coal from surface mining. The Pine Branch complex came in Blackhawk’s 2012 acquisition of Pine Branch Coal Sales LLC and the March 2014 acquisition of Arch Coal‘s ICG Hazard mining complex.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.