Martin County coal mine to shut down

By Kyle Lovern

October 7, 2013

Kyle Lovern


INEZ, Ky. – The Pontiki Mine located near Inez, Ky. in Martin County is scheduled to close at the end of the year.

The mining complex employs approximately 142 workers.

Workers at the Pontiki mining complex were told the surface mine and coal prep plant will close by the end of the 2013 according to reports.

Alliance Resource Partners says its subsidiary, Excel Mining issued notifications to employees last Friday, according to a news release from the company.

The company says it plans to continue operations at the complex until early December to fulfill commitments under existing sales contracts at which time the mine is expected to cease production.

“For over 36 years, the Pontiki mining complex has operated safely and profitably — providing quality jobs for our hardworking people and meeting the needs of customers,” said Joseph W. Craft III, President and Chief Executive Officer.

“When Pontiki resumed production last year, we knew the market outlook was uncertain but were hopeful that conditions would improve. Unfortunately, market conditions remain weak, and we have been unable to secure new coal sales commitments for Pontiki coal beyond the existing 2013 contracts. While we are deeply saddened by the impact of this decision on our employees, their families and their communities, we have no choice but to take this unfortunate but necessary step to begin the process of winding down production operations at Pontiki.”

According to the company the closing of the complex by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, between August 29, 2012 and November 25, 2012, cost the company approximately $26.6.

The company’s website says that Pontiki opened back in 1977.