A coal company that once had extensive operations in Eastern Kentucky announced Thursday that it had sold one of its two remaining properties.
Alpha Natural Resources said it had sold the assets of its Enterprise Mining Corp. affiliate to Kingdom Coal, a subsidiary of Keystone-Kingdom Resources in Fort Worth, Texas.
Enterprise had an underground mine called the EMC No. 9 in Knott County and a preparation plant at Roxanna in Letcher County.
The company idled the mine in July, but federal records show that the prep plant is active.
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There were 85 employees let go when the mine shut down last summer, Alpha spokesman Steve Hawkins said.
Kingdom Coal has expressed interest in restarting the Enterprise mine, Alpha chief executive David Stetson said in a news release.
The sale “commenced the implementation of our strategy to divest non-strategic properties,” Stetson said in the news release. That was part of the company’s plan coming out of bankruptcy protection earlier this year.
The company did not release how much Kingdom Coal paid for Enterprise.
Alpha Natural Resources had 11 mines in Eastern Kentucky in 2012, but Enterprise and Sidney Coal were the last two that were active.
The company announced last month that it would shut down Sidney Coal’s Process Energy mine in November and lay off about 115 people.
That was the company’s last active mine in Eastern Kentucky.
The coal industry has slumped badly in the region because of several factors, including competition from natural gas, tougher rules to protect air and water quality, the depletion of many major seams and the rise of renewable energy.