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Poplar Grove Coal Mine in McLean County Terminating Some Employees


Some of the employees at the Poplar Grove coal mine in McLean County, Kentucky, received a letter on Feb. 17 informing them that their employment will end Feb. 18.

The letter is from Hartshorne Mining Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Paringa Resources in Australia.

The letter said the project will transition from two mining units to one and some employees will be retained as the effort continues to seek additional financing or possibly the sale of the mine.

Paringa has encountered financial and geological problems at the Poplar Grove mine.

The company halted the sale of its stock on the Australian Securities Exchange on Dec. 23, 2019.

Paringa also said an unexpected geological fault slowed production and there were problems that allowed water to saturate the floor of one unit of the mine.

WFIE-TV reported that state officials have not yet received a WARN notice. That’s a U.S. labor law that requires companies with 100 or more employees to provide a 60-day notice in advance of plant closings or mass layoffs if it will impact 50 or more workers.

The company’s human resources director in Kentucky was not available to comment on how many employees are being terminated.

Rhonda Miller joined WKU Public Radio in 2015. She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.
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