Kentucky-based coal company to close West Virginia facilities

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Blackhawk Mining says it's closing three mines and two preparation plants in West Virginia amid weak global coal markets.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Blackhawk Mining says it’s closing three mines and two preparation plants in West Virginia amid weak global coal markets.

The Kentucky-based coal company on Tuesday announced the idling of its facilities in Logan and Mingo counties.

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The move will impact 342 of its employees, though Blackhawk says workers will be encouraged to apply for open jobs elsewhere with the company. A news release from the company blamed a weak coal market and drops in prices for its decision to close the facilities.

Blackhawk in July filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, saying that the restructuring will allow it to get rid of more than 60% of its debt. Many major U.S. coal producers have filed for bankruptcy protection in recent years.