The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

February 20, 2013

Creditors trying to force Frasure Creek Mining into bankruptcy

PAGE — Adding to a heap of troubles for Frasure Creek Mining, the company's creditors are now trying to force it into bankruptcy so they can get paid.

On Feb. 14, Austin Powder Company out of Cleveland, Oh., Charleston based Cecil I. Walker Machinery, and Whayne Supply Company in Louisville, Ky., filed an involuntary petition in federal bankruptcy court in the eastern district of Kentucky.

They are claiming that Frasure Creek -- owned by India-based Essar Minerals --owes them a total of $20.1 million for goods, services, and parts they provided, according to court documents.

Frasure Creek holds four surface mine permits and three deep mine permits in Fayette County, two surface permits in Boone County, three surface permits and one underground in Mingo County, and one deep mine permit in McDowell County.

Approximately 100 Fayette Countians launched an unsuccessful permit appeal of one of Frasure’s operations before the Surface Mine Board in 2011, claiming that the area’s water source could be threatened.

Local citizens have lodged individual complaints against the company with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection over blasts and other property damage.

In February of last year, the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition threatened to sue the company over alleged selenium discharges at their Open Fork Surface Mine complex. They never filed but continue to monitor for any spikes in selenium or aluminum, according to the group's attorney, Mike Becher.

That spring, Frasure laid off significant numbers of miners in Fayette County.

Then in August, the company confirmed that they had temporarily shut down their Fayette County operations but planned to reopen them the following month.

Soon after, the company auctioned off more than 180 pieces of mining and earthmoving equipment, primarily from its Kentucky mines.

Despite these problems, officials from Trinity Coal, Frasure Creek's parent companies, told The Register-Herald last August that bankruptcy was not a part of their plans at that time.

Amid litigation over thousands of water quality violations in Ky., Frasure confirmed last October that it had stopped mining in that state. The company told the court that their precarious financial situation made it impossible to pay the amount demanded by environmental groups for violations and penalties.

Frasure was also a defendant in a suit brought by former employees who claim the company told them they were not in financial trouble and then turned around and fired them without giving proper notice under federal law.

Frasure Creek must file a response to the involuntary bankruptcy petition within 21 days of a summons issued by the court on Feb. 15.

Trinity Coal could not be reached for comment.



Text Only
Latest News
  • Judge in W.Va. asked to delay gay marriage ruling

    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has asked a judge to postpone ruling on a federal lawsuit challenging West Virginia's same-sex marriage ban until the U.S. Supreme Court reviews a ruling in a similar case in Virginia.

    July 30, 2014

  • Tri-state coal interests rally before EPA hearings

    More than 2,000 union workers and others organized by the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia joined top state elected officials Wednesday to rally against proposed stricter federal pollution regulations for coal-burning power plants.

    July 30, 2014

  • Work continues on stand-alone Warrior Trail

    The executive director of the Hatfield and McCoy Trail Authority said Tuesday that officials are still working toward the creation of the stand-alone Warrior Trail in McDowell County.

    July 30, 2014

  • East River Mountain Tunnel repairs will continue for several weeks

    Motorists traveling Interstate 77 could see slight delays again tonight as repair work continues inside of the fire-damaged East River Mountain Tunnel.

    July 30, 2014

  • State leaders to attend coal rally in Pittsburgh

    West Virginia officials are set to join hundreds of coal miners and coal supporters at an electricity and energy jobs rally.

    July 30, 2014

  • Americans continue to be plagued by debt

    Credit card debt may have reached its lowest level in a decade, but according to a recent study on personal debt vs. income, just as more people are paying off their credit card debt monthly, nearly the same number of people are being reported for unpaid bills. 

    July 30, 2014

  • twvcheck Theatre West Virginia gives back to hospice

    Theatre West Virginia, even with its shortened season this year, has found a way to give back to the community. Mike Cavendish, a past board president at TWV, presented Hospice of Southern West Virginia with a check Thursday for over $1,000. 

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former Summers County commissioner indicted

    The Summers County grand jury handed up indictments against 17 individuals this month, including one against a former county commissioner. 

    July 30, 2014

  • Weaker prices widen second quarter losses for Arch Coal

     Arch Coal Inc. said Tuesday that its second-quarter loss widened partly because of nagging rail disruptions and weaker prices for coal used in making steel, though cost controls helped the coal producer’s latest earnings surpass analysts’ expectations.

    July 30, 2014

  • pasiley Watery delight

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo