October 24, 2020

Bankruptcy judge approves plan for Alabama company to buy Wyoming mines

A federal bankruptcy judge in West Virginia has approved a new plan to sell two Wyoming coal mines.

Under the deal approved Wednesday, Milton, West Virginia-based Blackjewel would sell the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines to Eagle Specialty Materials, a subsidiary of Jasper, Alabama-based FM Coal.

Blackjewel halted almost all Wyoming operations and furloughed hundreds of employees when it filed for bankruptcy July 1. The sale could allow the mines to reopen.

The West Virginia court in August approved the mines’ sale to Bristol, Tennessee-based Contura Energy, a former owner and ongoing Wyoming permit-holder. The deal wasn’t finalized as government officials sought to collect federal coal royalties.

Under the new deal, Contura would pay Eagle $90 million. Eagle would assume $237 million in reclamation liabilities and certain Blackjewel debts.