Alabama Company Reopens Wyoming Coal Mines

An Alabama company has taken over two coal mines in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin and is calling back to work many of the hundreds of workers laid off by the former owner in the last four months, according to an Oct. 21 story in a Wyoming newspaper, the Fairfield Sun Times.

The acquirer, Eagle Specialty Materials, is an affiliate of FM Coal, based in Walker County.

The Wyoming mines, Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr, were bought from bankrupt operator Blackjewel, in U.S. bankruptcy court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

It is not known exactly how many miners will return to work, but more than 400 were qualified for unemployment following the layoffs, said the Sun Times.

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FM Coal CEO and President Freddie Hunt, of Sipsey, told the Jasper Daily Mountain Eagle in January 2018 that his company’s investors include four Walker County mining companies — Cedar Lake Mining, Cane Creek LLC, Best Coal and MS&R Equipment.

Hunt said the company has about 250 employees and operates six active surface mines.

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