- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

VANSANT, Va. (AP) - SunCoke Energy has idled some of its mining operations in Virginia and laid off 175 workers.

SunCoke says the move will reduce coal production from about 1 million tons to 500,000 tons annually. The company says it is pursuing a sale of all or part of its coal mining business.

The Illinois-based company announced the layoffs on Monday in a news release. SunCoke spokesman Steve Carlson tells media outlets that the company idled its Dominion No. 36 mine and parts of the Dominion No. 7 and Dominion No. 30 mines in Southwest Virginia.

Carlson says the company’s coke operations in Vansant won’t be affected.

SunCoke’s release says the company also plans to reduce its coal preparation plant’s operations by half.

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