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American Consolidated Natural Resources to Idle Pride Mine in Kentucky

American Consolidated Natural Resources (ACNR) will be issuing a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice at its Pride Mine in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, effectively idling the mine at the end of March. This decision will impact approximately 200 underground miners and marks another blow to the struggling Western Kentucky coal industry.

Key Points:

  • Closure Date: End of March 2024.
  • Affected Employees: Approximately 200 underground miners.
  • 2023 Production: 1.7 million tons (solely for Louisville Gas & Electric and Big Rivers Electrical Cooperative).
  • Reasons for Closure: (Unconfirmed by ACNR)
    • Loss of a 1 million ton per year contract with LG&E at the beginning of 2023.
    • Permitting issues for a waste pond, increasing production costs.
    • Declining production throughout 2023 (4th quarter: 395,768 tons).

Industry Reactions:

  • Surprise and concern: Industry sources expressed shock at the news and its implications for the region.
  • Blame placed on external factors: One source believes environmental regulations and policies outside the US are contributing to the decline of the industry.
  • Historical Context:
    • Pride Mine, originally known as Survant, began production in 2015.
    • ACNR acquired the mine through a merger with bankrupt Armstrong Energy in 2018.
    • Western Kentucky coal production has plummeted from 39.9 million tons in 2013 to 15.9 million tons in 2023.


  • This closure will leave Alliance Natural Resource Partners as the sole coal mine operator in Western Kentucky.
  • It follows the closure of other former Murray Energy holdings, including the Lila Canyon mine in Utah and the Century mine in Ohio.

The future of the Western Kentucky coal industry remains uncertain, with the Pride Mine closure highlighting the ongoing challenges faced by the sector. The loss of jobs and economic activity in the region is a significant concern, and the reasons behind this specific closure remain unclear without official confirmation from ACNR.

Source: TheCoalTrader, AI generated