PINEVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ/WV MetroNews) -- The owners of the largest coal mine in Wyoming County are planning to idle the mine at the end August, putting 450 miners out of work.
Wyoming County Commissioner Silas Mullins says he received a call from a Cliffs Natural Resources official Wednesday morning letting him know of the plans to idle the Pinnacle Mine.
“The coal market is down and the steel market is down,” Mullins said.
The operation near Pineville produces metallurgical coal, used to make steel. It issued the required 60-day WARN notice Wednesday.
Cliffs spokesman Ryan Thorn said the decision is being driven by market conditions but the company is hopeful things will change.
“If something happens in the next 60 days we won’t have to take this action,” Thorn said.
Commissioner Mullins said the mine is Wyoming County’s biggest severance tax producer.
“We’re going to lose a great deal of money from that,” the commissioner said. “Right now we are in an analytical mode to see what kind of impact there’s going to be on the county.”
In a prepared statement from Cliffs, the company said it hopes the layoffs don’t happen but if they do the hope is they will only be temporary.