Things might be warming up a little in the saga of the Blakeburn Coal Mine.
It’s been a long couple of winters for the mine. Operating mostly under the name Coalmont Energy Corporation (CEC) the mine stopped production in October of 2013 because of lack of profitability combined with a surfeit of debt. Nevertheless Coalmont managed to get a stay of proceedings which ended on February 18 of last month. That is when the inevitable declaration of bankruptcy occurred. The first meeting of creditors is tomorrow.
There are 145 known unsecured creditors who are owed a total of $37.5 million. However, at this point Coalmont has no asserts, those having been sold to a company by the name of Sandhill Materials last month. Former employees will not be eligible for termination pay under the Wage Earners Protection Act because of the length of time that has passed.
Depending on the economic climate and the price of coal, it looks like the mine may well come back into operation at some point. For those who have not followed the whole story, there were a number of companies involved with Coalmont Energy. The main one was Arthon, of which CEC was a subsidiary. Although not drawn into the bankruptcy proceedings, Sandhill Materials is part of the Arthon group and now the owners of the CEC assets. This means that we could be seeing the same people return to the mine, and some locals could get their jobs back. §