Four coal companies have placed bids for Blackjewel LLC’s mines and processing operations in Virginia.
Blackjewel on Sunday filed documents in a West Virginia bankruptcy court detailing the results of auctions held Aug. 1-3 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Winning bids include:
• Kopper Glo Mining LLC seeks Blackjewel’s Black Mountain and Lone Mountain operations straddling the Virginia/Kentucky line. The bid includes $6.35 million in cash, royalties with a present value of $9.1 million and assumption of $38.4 million in asset retirement obligations.
Kopper Glo, based in Knoxville, Tenn., has several operations in Claiborne County, Tenn., south and west of Cumberland Gap.
• Rhino Energy LLC bid for Blackjewel’s Virginia Subdivision assets. The company offered $850,000 in cash, royalties with a present value of $208,000 and assumption of $6.07 million in asset retirement obligations.
Rhino, based in Lexington, Ky., has coal operations nationally, including several in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia.
• Coking Coal LLC, also based in Lexington, bid for Blackjewel’s Pardee mine operation. The company offered $50,000 in cash, royalties with a present value of nearly $2.42 million and assumption of $1.2 million in asset retirement obligations.
• Tye Fork Coal Co. Inc. bid for the “LM6” mine in Virginia, with a bid including $400,000 in cash and assumption of $75,000 in asset retirement liabilities.
Contura Energy, based in Bristol, Tenn., bid for Blackjewel’s surface mines in Wyoming, along with one West Virginia operation.
Of local note, the “Dean-McAfee lenders” made a credit bid worth $4.25 million for certain Blackjewel assets in Harlan County, Ky.
Representing the bid were local attorneys Julia L. McAfee and Carl E. McAfee of Dean McAfee Holdings LLC.
The Dean-McAfee partnership had already filed bankruptcy court documents to protect its interest in debt owed by Blackjewel for a $5.9 million sale of eastern Kentucky assets in 2015.
RETURN OF JOBS?
In a court filing, Blackjewel urged the court to reject multiple objections to the proposed asset sales. Blackjewel’s attorneys noted that the sales would infuse the struggling company with about $42.9 million in cash and would relieve it of “hundreds of millions of dollars in assumed liabilities, including reclamation obligations.”
Further, the attorneys stated, Blackjewel understands that the successful bidders “intend to bring back to work a large number of the debtors’ employees as mining operations restart.”
Blackjewel also disputed objections based on what the company called “an imaginary issue — abandonment of property. The Debtors are not seeking through the Sale Motion to abandon any of their properties. Rather, they are seeking approval to sell substantially all of their operating assets to buyers who are likely to restart operations.”