HAZARD – A coal company operating in Perry County has issued another round of cutbacks this week, again citing a continued weakness in the market.
Arch Coal eliminated 44 positions at their Hazard mine as company officials made the announcement on Thursday, according spokeswoman Kim Link. The Hazard mine is formerly a part of International Coal Group, which Arch acquired in June 2011
The announcement made the second since December, when the company issued layoff notices to more than 100 employees in Eastern Kentucky, including several in Perry County.
Link noted in December that the cutbacks were necessary to match the mines’ production with the needs of their customers. Arch’s Eastern Kentucky mines produce steam coal for electricity production. She again noted on Friday that these most recent layoffs were due to a continuing downtrend in the market for their coal.
“Due to continuing weakness in steam coal markets, Hazard eliminated 44 positions on Thursday,” Link said in an email this week.
This week’s announcement was also the latest in a series of cutbacks involving two other coal companies in Eastern Kentucky. Alpha Natural Resources cut 168 jobs and idled several mines in February, while Perry County Coal cut 85 positions in January. In both instances company officials also cited a weakened demand for Appalachian coal.