April 15, 2014 1:06 pm

700 workers temporarily laid off at two B.C. coal mines

Map of Walter Energy's B.C. coal mines.

Walter Energy Inc.

VANCOUVER – Walter Energy Inc. says it will temporarily lay off about 700 workers at two coal mines in British Columbia due to difficult market conditions and lower prices.

Operations at the Brule and Willow Creek mines in Chetwynd, and the Wolverine Mine in Tumbler Ridge, will be temporarily suspended.

The company says a limited number of employees will remain at the mines to perform ongoing maintenance and security during the suspension.

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“These layoffs are particularly unfortunate because our employees have worked very hard to keep these mines competitive in the face of daunting market conditions,” said Walter J. Scheller III, CEO of Walter Energy. 

“These coal reserves remain valuable assets,” Scheller added. “However, given the current met coal pricing environment, our best course of action at this time is to idle these operations until we can achieve reasonable value from these reserves.”

Walter Energy says it expects to incur severance charges of approximately $7 million in connection with the idling of the mine.

– with files from Canadian Press


© Shaw Media, 2014

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