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Coal Mine Takeover Leaves 120 Workers Looking For Jobs
Updated August 27, 2014 6:57 AM | Filed under: Business
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(GREENE CO.) - The sale of two coal mines has forced 120 workers to look for employment.

The Greene County Daily World reports that Evansvlle-based Vectren Corp. says the layoff stem from the company's upcoming sale of it's Vectren Fuels subsidiary to Terre Haute-based Sunrise Coal.

The purchase, worth an estimated $296 million included three mines in the Southern Indiana area, two ran by Black Panther Mining in Oaktown and a third in Petersburg operated by Five Star Mining, is scheduled to close on Friday, Aug. 29.

The Associated Press and the Evansville Courier and Press reports that jobs were offered to all but 120 of the miners, most from Greene County, of the 670 employees.

Vectren says the miners who were affected by the job losses have been released from their jobs so they can look for work elsewhere, but will remain on company payrolls until the end of the month.

"Vectren has been informed that while offers of employment have been extended to more than 670 members of the current workforce at the mines, approximately 120 miners have not been offered employment," Vectren said in a written statement last week.

Sunrise, which has refrained from commenting on the situation because the deal has not officially closed, is an energy company whose primary focus is on underground coal mining in the Illinois Basin. The company was founded in 2002 and became a subsidiary of Hallador Energy of Denver in 2006.

Hallador plans to use the two Oaktown mines to draw coal from the War Eagle reserve, which is adjacent to one of the Oaktown mines. According to a published report last month, Hallador President and Chief Executive Officer Brent Bilsland said the move will save an estimated $150 million in capital expenditures that would otherwise be needed to develop the War Eagle reserve and bring it to full capacity.

The Associated Press and Evansville Courier and Press business writer Susan Orr contributed to this story.

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