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Report: Perry County Coal laid off miners without warning prior to new year

Nearly all the miners working for Perry County Coal Corp. were laid off before the new year, according to WYMT, a news site covering eastern Kentucky.

The company had not filed a WARN notice with the county prior to the terminations, WYMT reported, citing Perry County Judge Executive Scott Alexander. The report did not specify how many miners were affected by the company's actions.

Perry County Coal is a subsidiary of Cambrian Coal Corp., which filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2019 and planned to sell off its coal assets. American Resources Corp. was named the primary bidder for all of the company's assets under Perry County Coal, which operates an eastern Kentucky mining complex. A federal court approved the sale in September 2019.

Hazard Coal Corp., which owns the properties in Perry County, Ky., disputed the validity of American Resources' bid on Cambrian Coal's leases. Hazard claimed the debtor's lease expired before it filed for bankruptcy, so there was no lease for American Resources to bid on.

On Jan. 3, a federal judge wrote that the sale order was final, barred Hazard's argument and dismissed its motion to reconsider the sale order, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

"Hazard Coal had notice of the proposed assignment and cure costs early in the sale process but did not raise a timely objection to the transfer," according to the order. "Further, Hazard Coal has not presented sufficient grounds to justify the significant harm caused by reconsideration of the sale order."