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Corsa Coal idles two Somerset mines, cuts 130 jobs

| Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, 10:09 a.m.

Corsa Coal Corp. idled two of the Somerset County mines it bought last year and will eliminate 130 jobs as it combines operations at two nearby mines, the Canadian firm said Friday.

A depressed global market for the mines' metallurgical coal used to produce steel makes their operation too expensive, Corsa officials said. Other companies have closed or dialed back production at met coal mines amid weak demand.

Corsa will evaluate whether to close the former PBS Coals mines at Kimberly Run and Barbara while it moves some workers and equipment to the Quecreek and Casselman mines.

“We regret the need to take today's actions; however, we anticipate these moves will improve the overall cost structure of the (Northern Appalachian) Division while still maintaining premium quality metallurgical coal specifications,” said George Dethlefsen, CEO of the Toronto company.

“The acquisition of PBS last August provided the company with a large portfolio of active and development mines. Today's moves are part of the ongoing integration of PBS as well as an effort to rationalize production in response to market conditions.”

Corsa said Casselman and Quecreek are its least expensive met coal mines to operate. Chief Financial Officer Paul D. Caldwell said the company hopes to ramp up production at those mines.

Analysts predict met coal prices will dip further over the next few months.

David Conti is a Trib Total Media staff writer.

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