The Pinnacle Mine near Pineville could temporarily idled later this summer if the coal market doesn’t improve.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Cliffs Natural Resources, Inc., filed a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) notice with the UMWA and the state to announce tentative plans to temporarily idle the mine.
Over 400 people could be left without jobs if the mine is idled.
The statement from Cliffs said that due to “deteriorating conditions in the metallurgical coal market, (the company) has undertaken measures to improve operational and cost performance at the mine.”
“The persistent depressed pricing and oversupply in the metallurgical coal market for the past year has put cost pressures on the business,” the statement said.
The Cliffs leadership team will monitor industry conditions for the next two months. If market conditions do not improve, the Pinnacle Mind would be temporarily idled around Aug. 25.
The statement from Cliffs calls the Pinnacle Mine “a world-class operation with a strong and productive workforce of mining professionals.
“We understand the impact this could have on employees and will work with them during this uncertain time,” the statement continues.
Cliffs indicates in the statement that it will continue to work on “planned safety program and on-going envrionmental measures.”