Nearly-extinct James River Coal seeks permission to destroy records

The bankruptcy court for James River Coal plans a Dec. 18 hearing on the company’s Dec. 4 request for permission to destroy certain company records, now that it is a shell of the company it had once been.

The company, citing factors like high coal production costs and poor coal markets, filed for Chapter 11 protection on April 7 at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Easterrn District of Virginia.

“On August 28, 2014, this Court approved the sale of a substantial portion of the Debtors’ assets (the ‘Blackhawk Sale’), including the Hampden Mining Complex (including the assets of Debtor Logan & Kanawha Coal Company, LLC), the Hazard Mining Complex (other than the assets of Debtor Laurel Mountain Resources, LLC) and the Triad Mining Complex to JR Acquisition, LLC (the ‘Buyer’), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Blackhawk Mining, LLC,” said the Dec. 4 petition. “In connection with the Blackhawk Sale, the vast majority of the Debtors’ employees at those complexes were transferred to the Buyer, and non-essential remaining employees were terminated.

“As a result of the Blackhawk Sale, the Debtors have substantially curtailed operations and no longer operate coal mines in the states of Indiana and West Virginia. Moreover, the Debtors and their professional advisors have been in the process of marketing the Debtors’ few remaining mining operations, and otherwise winding down the estate.

“In an effort to preserve cash needed to fund short-term operational expenses and the continuing asset sales process, the Debtors have taken a number of proactive steps to preserve liquidity, including seeking to reduce the number of offices, storage sites and other physical locations maintained by the Debtors. In the course of this process, the Debtors have identified a large volume of physically maintained documents and records that either are not currently needed (the ‘Obsolete Records’), or will not be needed following cessation of the Debtors’ remaining operations (the ‘Remaining Records’), for the purposes of the continued administration of the Debtors’ estates. The Debtors’ books and records generally include (i) accounting records, (ii) tax records, (iii) payroll and employee health and benefit records, (iv) personnel records, (v) insurance records, (vi) corporate records and (vii) mining safety, training and permitting records. Certain of these books and records also are maintained by the Debtors in electronic form.” 

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.