CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Patriot Coal Corp. is idling five underground mines in southern West Virginia.The company attributes the decision to declining demand for metallurgical coal. Met coal is used to make steel.
The closures announced Friday include two mines operated by subsidiaries and two operated by contractors in Patriot Coal's Rocklick complex, and two mines operated by contractors in the Wells complex.President and CEO Richard M. Whiting says in a news release that demand for met coal has steadily declined recently. But that is expected to change as world economies return to normal growth rates.Whiting says Patriot Coal expects to resume much of the cut production as demand improves. St. Louis-based Patriot Coal operates mines in West Virginia and Kentucky.