Coal CEO to resign as part of company’s bankruptcy deal

CHARLESTON, West Virginia (AP) – A federal judge has approved a USD5 million lifeline to help one of the country’s largest coal producers navigate bankruptcy on the condition that its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) step down.

Court documents filed on Wednesday said the financing from Riverstone Credit Partners will go toward providing security and personnel to extinguish fires at Blackjewel LLC’s mines as it determines its next steps.

The agreement requires CEO Jeff Hoops to resign. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, with Hoops saying there wasn’t enough money to operate or pay employees’ salaries.

Blackjewel has mines in Wyoming, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. The most recent federal statistics said it’s the sixth-largest coal producer.

Other major US coal producers also have filed for bankruptcy protection in recent years.

Employees at Belle Ayr listen to officials talk during a public meeting regarding the current closures of two Blackjewel mines, at the Campbell County Courthouse in Gillette, Wyoming. – AP