UPDATE: Argus President says "Adverse Events" Forcing Wayne County Mines to Close

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 11/5/13
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – The owner of Argus Energy and Kiah Creek Transport says a “series of adverse events” caused the company to issue WARN notices to 236 employees late last month.

According to a WARN notice sent to employees on October 25, and a press release issued on Monday, Argus has decided to close its Kiah Creek Complex in Dunlow, and its Wayne County River Terminal and related operations in Kenova.

Kiah Creek Transport (KCT), which provides contract trucking services, plans to close its operations in both Dunlow and Kenova. KCT is an affiliate of Argus.

Argus and KCT currently employ approximately 177 and 59 employees.

According to the notice, the facilities will close on December 27, 2013.

James Booth, who is President of Argus and KCT, says those “adverse events” are “without limitations, the inability to timely secure permits, interruption in operation due to regulatory enforcement actions and weak coal markets conditions.”

Booth goes on to say, “This has been a very difficult decision and we are deeply saddened by the loss of jobs that will result from the idling of our operation.”

According to the release, the company is in the process of evaluating its need for employees after production operations cease. They also expect to retain a certain number of employees will be retained for reclamation and other purposes.

WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Argus Energy LLC has announced they will be closing down mine operations in Wayne County, West Virginia.

According to a WARN notice sent to employees, the company has decided to close Mine #7, Mine #8, the Preparation Plant, the Dunlow Mine office and related operation on Twelve Pole Creek Road in Dunlow.

The letter also states they will close the Wayne County River Terminal, Kenova office and related operations on Big Sandy Road in Kenova.

The closure is expected to be permanent.

According to the notice, the facilities will close on December 27, 2013.

In the notice, the company says, "We deeply regret the loss of jobs that will result from this decision. However, irreversible trends in the industry have been accelerating in the last several years which have resulted in the decline in the Central Appalachian coal market. Moreoever, recent events at or related to the Facilities have made it clear that the Company has no alternative but to idle the Facilities."

The company says they are still working to secure contracts to continue operations beyond December 27. They say if these efforts are successful, some employees may be retained or recalled. "However, because the success of such efforts are entirely known at this time, no Company employee who is being terminated should count on being retained or recalled to employment with the company," was reported in the notice.

According to the notice, workers will be entitled to certain benefits, including state unemployment benefits.

Both the WV Department of Mining and the Wayne County
Commission say the closing will impact some 230 people.

WSAZ has made several calls to the company for more information, but our calls have not been returned.

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