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Hopedale coal mine closes, leaving about 100 out of work

CLOSED — Hopedale Mining LLC closed last week less than two months after filing for bankruptcy protection. (Photo by Carri Graham)

CADIZ — A coal mine in Hopedale closed permanently last week, leaving around 100 area residents without jobs.

Harrison County Commissioner Paul Coffland said Friday that Hopedale Mining LLC closed its doors last week, less than two months after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Rhino Resource Partners of Kentucky, the mine’s parent company, made its bankruptcy filing in late July.

The Hopedale coal mine was reopened in 2005 after Rhino Resource Partners invested in the facility. Prior to the investment it had been closed since 1987.

Coffland said county officials are unaware of what caused the mine to close so abruptly.

“We haven’t heard anything from them (Hopedale Mining LLC). The employees literally walked out of the mine and they were told that they were done,” he said.

Last week, after finishing up for the day, mine employees were informed that the mine was shutting down, Coffland said.

Although the mine and 27 of its affiliates filed for bankruptcy protection a few weeks ago, county officials were surprised at the news of the closure.

The closing affects around 100 mine employees. Coffland said those impacted by the closure can contact the Harrison County Department of Job and Family Services for assistance.

Coffland said county officials are hopeful that another investor will see opportunity in the mine and reopen it.

Reports indicate that the mine, originally opened in the 1950s, still has abundant coal reserves.

“We’re hopeful that someone else will make the investment and open the mine back up,” he said.

Rhino Resource Partners could not be reached for comment.

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