Despite Objections, Alpha Moves Forward With Restructuring Plan

May 27, 2016

Shovels scoop coal at Alpha Natural Resources' Eagle Butte mine in this file photo from August 2014.
Credit Stephanie Joyce

A bankruptcy judge has given Alpha Natural Resources approval to move its restructuring plan to a vote, over the objections of the federal government.

The government had argued Alpha didn’t provide enough detail about various parts of the plan, including how the company plans to pay for mine reclamation, for creditors to fully evaluate it, but the bankruptcy judge disagreed.

Under the plan, Alpha will sell its most valuable assets, including its Wyoming mines, to a group of its creditors. The company’s remaining mines will operate solely for the purpose of reclamation. 

In response to the government’s concerns, Alpha said it anticipates the new company will be able to replace existing self-bonds in Wyoming with third-party surety bonds. The filing is the first time the company has indicated how it plans to meet its reclamation obligations in Wyoming. Alpha adds that it is working on an agreement with regulators from other states.

Alpha’s creditors will now vote on the plan, which will need to be confirmed by a bankruptcy judge. A hearing is scheduled for July 7.