Economy
3:44 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

CONSOL Energy Responds To Decrease In Steel Demand By Idling Mines

CONSOL Energy Inc. announced starting today it has temporarily shut down the Buchanan Mine in southwestern Virginia.  The company is also considering a partial or complete idling of the Amonate Mining Complex in southern West Virginia.  According to a statement from CONSOL, a decision is expected soon.

Both mines produce metallurgical grade coal, which is used in steelmaking. However, the global demand for steel production is weak resulting a decreased demand for steelmaking materials including coal.  CONSOL Energy has chosen to idle the two mines in response to weak conditions in its export markets in Asia, Europe, and South America.

The Buchanan Mine produces about 400,000 tons of coal per month and has approximately 620 production and maintenance employees who will mostly be furloughed. Amonate produces about 35,000 tons each month and its workforce is contracted.

The company's  statement indicates it plans to continue to monitor market demand and will then respond accordingly.