Alpha approved to sell shut or nearly-shut coal mines

Alpha Natural Resources, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in August, was approved at a Nov. 5 hearing by its bankruptcy judge to sell several coal mines that it has shut or is in the process of shutting.

The Chapter 11 cases of Alpha and various subsidiaries have been consolidated and are pending at the U. S Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

“With the assistance of their advisors, the Debtors are in the process of developing and implementing a comprehensive long term business plan to address the unprecedented market challenges affecting the Debtors (the ‘Business Plan’),” the company said in its Oct. 22 motion to approve this sale. “In connection with the preparation of the Business Plan, the Debtors are developing a list of certain mining properties and related assets that they will seek to dispose of in connection with their reorganization. To date, the Debtors have identified the Assets on the Asset Schedule attached to this Motion for potential disposition, which are comprised of Assets relating to closed and idled mines (collectively, ‘Inactive Mines’) that (a) are not generating revenue for the Debtors’ businesses but (b) impose reclamation, maintenance and other costs on the Debtors’ estates. Although the Asset Schedule currently includes only Assets relating to Inactive Mines, as further described below, the Debtors may amend the Asset Schedule as part of the proposed Bidding Procedures to include additional Assets, such as any other non-core assets identified in the Business Plan.

“The Debtors propose to sell the Assets free and clear of liens, claims and encumbrances and to assume and assign to buyers certain Executory Contracts in connection therewith. The Debtors are prepared to conduct a robust public sale process to provide an opportunity for parties to purchase all or any portion of the Assets. Where appropriate (e.g., where there are multiple bids for an Asset), this process may include one or more Auctions. With the assistance of their investment banker, Rothschild Inc. (‘Rothschild’), the Debtors anticipate completing a comprehensive marketing process in an effort to sell the Assets on the best terms possible. The Debtors will market the Assets to financial and strategic buyers, some of whom already have been contacted. The proposed Bidding Procedures are designed to provide the Debtors with the flexibility necessary to allow the Debtors to maximize the value of the Assets.”

The properties up for sale include:

  • Black Bear/Ben’s Creek, West Virginia, Mingo County, includes closed Mountaineer Mine;
  • Coalgood, Kentucky, Harlan County, closed Coalgood Surface Mine;
  • Cucumber, West Virginia, McDowell County, includes loadout and closed Cucumber Mine;
  • Goals/Edwight, West Virginia, Raleigh County, Edwight mine that is in the process of being closed;
  • Green Valley, West Virginia, Nicholas County, closed Grassy Creek and Hominy Creek mines;
  • Knox Creek, Virginia, Tazewell County, Tiller #1 Mine, closure in process;
  • Martin County Coal, Kentucky, Martin County, Voyager 7 Mine (closed), White Cabin 7 Mine (closed) and White Cabin 9 Mine (closed);
  • Rawl, West Virginia, Mingo County, coal reserve only;
  • Revolution Mine/Independence, West Virginia, Boone County, Revolution Mine, closed;
  • Rock Springs, West Virginia, Wayne and Lincoln counties, Rock Springs Mine, closed;
  • Superior Mine, West Virginia, Logan County, Superior Surface Mine, closed;
  • Tennessee Consolidated Coal, Tennessee, primarily Marion County, Mine 43, closed;
  • Twilight Surface Mine, West Virginia, Boone and Raleigh counties, Twilight Surface Mine, closure in process;
  • Twin Star, Buchanan County in Virginia and Mingo County in West Virginia, Twin Star Surface Mine, closed;
  • Wabash, Illinois, Wabash and Edwards counties, reserve only; and
  • White Flame Surface Mine, West Virginia, Mingo County, White Flame Surface Mine, closed.

In most cases these properties include a prep plant.

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.