- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Patriot Coal plans to cut production at two mining complexes in southern West Virginia and potentially lay off workers.

St. Louis-based Patriot announced Wednesday that it has issued 60-day layoff notices to workers at its Wells mining complex near Wharton and its Corridor G complex near Danville.

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, Act requires companies to provide notice to employees if large layoffs are possible.

Patriot employs 450 workers at the Wells complex and 397 workers at the Corridor G complex.

Patriot president and CEO Bennett K. Hatfield says in a news release that the company needs to align its production with expected sales. He says pricing for both metallurgical and thermal coal is well below production costs at many mines in Central Appalachia.

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