Coal Age

OCT 2015

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n e w s c o n t i n u e d 10 October 2015 inadequate and asked the court strike down the current mine plan. Tri-State joined the lawsuit to assist the defense. The lawsuit against the OSM was not based on a violation of any air or water quality laws or regulations. The Colowyo mine has r esponsibly operated its mining and reclamation activities since the m ine plan was approved under the federal review process, and the mine remains in compliance with all state and federal requirements. The issues raised in the lawsuit are related to whether OSM completed appropriate public notification and analysis required during a review of the mine plan issued in 2007. At no time during the case did WildEarth Guardians argue that the mine should be designed or operated any differently than it operates today. Judge R. Brooke Jackson heard oral arguments on April 24 and on May 8 ruled against OSM. In his ruling, Judge Jackson agreed with WildEarth Guardians claims that OSM did not involve the public or take a "hard look" at the environmental impacts of min- i ng operations when the agency approved the Colowyo mining p lan. Recognizing the potential effect of the decision on the Colowyo mine, its employees and the northwest Colorado com- munity, the judge delayed vacating Colowyo's mining permit for 120 days to allow the OSM to address the deficiencies in the per- mitting process that he discussed in the order. During this time, Colowyo continued to operate. Colowyo Coal Co. believes the court's decision against OSM was in error and is appealing the decision. Murray Energy Sues UMWA, Cites Deal Breach Murray American Energy has filed a lawsuit against the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) for what it called a "repeated and flagrant breach" of the pair's National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement of 2011. The Ohio producer said September 19 that the union has been "flagrantly ignoring" some provisions of the deal. UMWA spokesperson Phil Smith responded on behalf of the union and said the suit was completely without merit. "We look forward to defending our members' health and safety on the job in court as well as in the mines," he said. Alpha Prepares to Close Emerald As the operation nears the end of its mineable life, Alpha has made good on a prior promise to idle its Emerald longwall com- plex in southwestern Pennsylvania at the end of next month. The Virginia-based company, currently in the midst of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, issued Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) letters on September 25 indicating a closing date for the mine of November 24. Officials said the mine will be idled at that time due to the exhaustion of the final panel of mineable coal; the producer first announced the impending end of Emerald's life in August 2014, at that time projecting the end of 2015 for a closure date. About 290 workers, along with a few operational support crew members, will be impacted by the move to idle. United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) officials told the Associated Press that about 140 miners have already been transferred from the Emerald mine to the company's nearby Cumberland operation, which it is ramping up. About 250 of the remaining 290 workers are union members, the spokesman added. Bowie Mine Cuts 100 Jobs Bowie Resource Partners (BRP), owner of the Bowie No. 2 opera- tion near Paonia in western Colorado, has confirmed the fur- lough of 97 of its workers while it progresses with plans to develop a new longwall panel. BRP and the mine's operating subsidiary, Bowie Resources, said September 30 that the layoff will include 78 workers and 19 contractors. It currently employs 181 full-time employees and 19 contractors. "Some of the affected employees will be relocated where possible to fill vacancies in other parts of the business; however, layoffs are unfortunately unavoidable," s a i d B R P C O O G e n e E . D i C l a u d i o . T h e c u t s w i l l b e e f f e c t i v e November 30. P E O P L E I N T H E N E W S SunCoke Energy announced leadership changes: Michael J. Thomson, presi- dent and COO, is leaving the company and stepping down from the board of directors. CEO Fritz Henderson, Senior Vice President Mike Hardesty, and CFO Fay West will assume additional responsibilities. Hardesty has been appoint- ed to the board of directors of SunCoke Energy Partners L.P. Barry Elswick, vice president, coke operations, is also leaving the company to pursue other interests. Hardesty will assume responsibility for the international coke busi- ness and Dovie Majors, director of performance improvement and interim general manager at Indiana Harbor, is being promoted to the role of vice president, domestic coke operations. Chris Curfman, vice president of Cat's Mining Sales & Support Division, will retire at the end of the year. He joined Cat in 1994 and was appointed vice president of the Global Mining Division in 2004. His division will be integrated into the existing Global Mining machine busi- ness divisions. The surface mining sales and support teams will join the Hauling & Extraction Division (See Suppliers News, p. 40), which will be renamed the Surface Mining & Technology Division, led by Cat Vice President Tom Bluth. The underground mining sales and support teams will join the Material Handling and Underground Division, led by Cat Vice President Denise Johnson. Check-6 International appointed Laura Owen as the CEO. She joined the board of directors for Check-6 in December 2014. Previously, she was the founder and CEO of PontSalus. ALLU Group announced Edgar J. Chavez will take over as their executive vice president and general manager. For the last five years, Chavez has served as director, sales, marketing and product support for PACCAR Inc.'s winch division. Superior Industries named Mike Schultz its product man- ager for the company's new crushing equipment product solutions. Most recently, Schultz was employed at Terex Mineral Processing Systems as a market area director. BKT USA named Mike Connor as head of OE sales. He held positions as general manager of Mefro Wheels USA and president/COO of Redco Wheel. m Tom Bluth Chris Curfman Laura Owen Denise Johnson Mike Schultz

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