The Australian-owned company with a troubled coal mine in western Kentucky is suing the U.S. Small Business Administration because it didn’t get money offered to other companies impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It has not been a good year for Hartshorne Mining, with geological and financial troubles plaguing its Poplar Grove Mine, located about 30 miles south of Owensboro, in McLean County.
The coal company is owned by Paringa Resources, based in Perth, Australia.
Hartshorne filed for bankruptcy in February and has put the coal mine and related assets up for sale.
Now S&P Global reports that Hartshorne has filed a complaint against the Small Business Administration for being denied $2.3 million from the federal coronavirus relief program.
The SBA denied the funding because the Paycheck Protection Program doesn’t authorize funds to companies in bankruptcy.
Hartshorne argues against that bankruptcy exception for the virus relief funding.
In other Hartshorne developments, Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities denied a coal shipment from Hartshorne that was an attempt to make up for a previous shortage under the supply contract.
In a May 14 filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Kentucky, the utility companies said they didn’t want their customers to be “held hostage to unreliable suppliers.”