Coal Company Plans W. Va. Mine, 600 New Jobs

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Arch Coal Inc. says it plans to open a longwall mine in northcentral West Virginia and employ nearly 600 employees when it’s fully operational.

The St. Louis-based coal producer announced the plans in a news release Thursday. The Leer South mine in Barbour County is expected to produce an estimated 3 million tons of coking coal annually.

The statement says Arch Coal expects to invest up to $390 million on the mine, which is scheduled to start production in late 2021.

Arch Coal CEO John W. Eaves says the project is “transformational” for the company and its shareholders.

The statement says Arch will transition its Mountain Laurel operation in southern West Virginia from longwall to room-and-pillar mining next year. The mine’s longwall equipment will then be moved to Leer South.