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Alpha Natural Resources cuts Wyo. staff to meet coal production decline


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Alpha Natural Resources cuts Wyo. staff to meet coal production decline

Followingin the footsteps of coal producers in Wyoming, moved toreduce its workforce in the state to match recent in production amid asustained industry downturn.

Accordingto the company, which filed for bankruptcy in August of last year, the layoffsoccurred April 28 at its Eagle Butte Mine and Belle Ayr Mine, amounting to areduction of 37 employees between the two facilities.

Comingnearly a month after recentstaff reductions inthe state by Arch Coal Inc.and Peabody Energy Corp.,the decision to lay off workers stemmed from a reduction in coal production dueto a lengthy industry slowdown amid waning demand and low pricing. The companystated that this week's reduction should be sufficient to match the decline inoutput from the company's two Wyoming mines.

Accordingto data compiled by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, the EagleButte mine produced 3.9 million tons in the first quarter of this year, downalmost 1 million tons from the average quarterly output from the previous year.

Meanwhile,the Belle Ayr Mine produced 3.6 million tons during the first quarter, lowerthan the average for the period in 2015 and down about 1.5 million tons fromthe same period last year.

Followingthe Peabody and Arch layoffs earlier this year, the state's governor formed a "rapidresponse team" to provide assistanceto those communities most affected by the staff reduction.