Court Documents: Blackjewel auction results show possible future of mines

Published: Aug. 4, 2019 at 11:12 AM EDT
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The results of the Blackjewel auction were released after a judge ordered those be made public by 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Through court documents, WYMT learned that bidding lasted three days, from Aug. 1 to Aug. 3. Through five successive auctions, several bidders placed bids for mines, most of which operate in the east.

There is no indication in the documents on if mining would resume.

The first lot at the auction will likely be purchased by Kopper Glo Mining, LLC. That encompasses the Lone Mountain and Black Mountain mines and their assets located in Harlan County and Wise County, Virginia.

If the purchase is approved, Kopper Glo Mining, LLC will own those mines.

There are assets not owned by Blackjewel on those properties that would go to Dean-McAfee Lenders and John Deere Construction and Forestry Company.

The second lot will be potentially purchased by Rhino Energy, LLC. They will acquire the Virginia Subdivision assets.

Coking Coal, LLC hopes to acquire the Pardee mine, which is located in Wise County, Virginia.

Tye Fork Coal Company, Inc. will likely receive the mine called “LM6.”

Mark Energy, LLC successfully bid on the "LM8" mine of Cumberland Rivercoal, LLC.

American Resource Corporation/Quest Energy’s bid for the first and second lots was not accepted.

Overall, eastern operations sold for $59.4 million in cash and credit bids. Credit bids are money owed, meaning bidding parties can go dollar for dollar in what they are owed.

In the West, Contura Energy will likely acquire all the Wyoming mines and the Pax Mine in West Virginia.

The purchases listed above are not final. A hearing to approve the sale of the mines and their assets will take place Monday at 10 a.m. in federal court in Charleston, West Virginia.

Here is a statement from Mark Jensen, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of American Resources Corporation.

“On behalf of American Resources Corporation, we are disappointed to not be initially chosen as the successful primary bidder to purchase the assets of Blackjewel in Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia. As the qualified backup bid, we believe that our bid is the most comprehensive and competitive as it is the only bid to include the full payment of pre-petition employee compensation of Blackjewel and Revelation Energy for those workers in the central Appalachian division, resulting in approximately $3.65 million being paid to these workers in an expedited structure that would otherwise go unfunded. Our bid also accepts responsibility for more than $200 million in reclamation liability, which prevents that liability from falling to the taxpayers of these states, whereas the other bid only addresses a fraction of this liability. Should our company prevail, we will continue to operate a number of the mines and between the current mines and the redeployment of equipment and infrastructure to existing American Resources / Quest Energy mines, we are confident that the job creation would result in a vast majority of Blackjewel’s workforce being given the opportunity to be employed by our company. We are in the process of revising our bid to increase the amount of our offer, which would further increase our funding of reclamation bonding to ensure environmental compliance. We are hopeful that at tomorrow’s 10:00 a.m. ET hearing in Charleston, West Virginia, the Court will recognize our commitment and the comprehensive value of our bid in finding the best solution and outcome to the employees, the operations, the environment, and stakeholders, and declare us the successful bidder.”

You can read the entire document below: