PINEVILLE, W.Va. (WVVA) Wyoming County’s biggest mine and largest private employer has officially closed.
According to miners, the Pinnacle Mine in Pineville has been locked and left to flood with the exception of the cleaning plant. Miners said Friday work to take out all of the pumps and equipment finished on Thursday. However, forty-nine of Mission Coal’s 400 employees have been left on staff to operate the cleaning plant.
Due to the location of the Greenridge portal, miners said flooding would not be an issue if the company decided to open that section of the mine at a later date. However, they will be meeting with United Mine Workers Association (UMWA) Pres. Cecil Roberts on Tuesday over concerns that Mission Coal may be attempting to re-open the mine non-union as a result of the company’s recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings. Their pensions and insurance are also at risk with the filing.
In an interview with WVVA News on Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice said he was told by Mission Coal officials that the cost of operations at the Pinnacle mine right now is prohibitive even in a fabulous marketplace.
“The best part is there are still significant reserves that are still in the mine that can be mined. They’re looking for a buyer that would underpin the jobs existing today. In addition to that, they may have another re-look at that themselves. There’s still hope for those miners.”