Some US coal mines US halting operations as coronavirus spreads
A number of coal mines in the United States have halted operations as the coronavirus continues to spread across the nation.
Bloomberg reported that Consol Energy Inc. has idled its Bailey Mine in Pennsylvania for two weeks after two workers tested positive for COVID-19.
In Illinois Alliance Resource Partners LP announced that it is shuttering all of its operations as the deadly virus drags down the global economy.
The coronavirus pandemic has rapidly expanded across the U.S., where the death toll is now expected to reach at least 100,000 people in the coming weeks. Coal miners are especially at risk, given their close working conditions in underground mines and locker rooms. The United Mine Workers of America asked the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration to issue a set of national guidelines addressing that risk.
“The unprecedented decision by world leaders to lock down the global economy to combat the deadly virus has crushed demand for energy,” Alliance said in a statement. “All Americans are having to adjust to a way of life none of us could have imagined two months ago.”
The Tulsa, OK-based miner is also withdrawing its 2020 financial guidance and cutting its cash distribution for unitholders for at least the first quarter. The company said in January it expected to sell 36.8 million to 38.8 million tons, but it now says the figure will be about 25 percent lower.
A number of other mining operations around the world have been slowed or stopped because of the coronavirus.