Kanawha Eagle Mine

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of Global Energy Monitor and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

Eagle Mine is an underground coal mining operation in Kanawha County, West Virginia, operated by Kanawha Eagle Coal's Newtown Energy and owned partly by Peabody Energy's Patriot Coal.

According to Patriot Coal's website, "The Kanawha Eagle complex, which is contractor-operated, is located in southern West Virginia and is sourced by three underground mines. All three mines utilize continuous mining methods. Processed coal is sold on both metallurgical and thermal markets and is transported via CSX rail directly to the customer or by private line railroad to the Kanawha River and placed on barges. Coal is produced from the Coalburg and Eagle seams."[1]

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Kanawha Eagle Coal, LLC, is a joint venture which owns and manages underground mining operations in Central Appalachia. Peabody Energy owns a 49% interest, as part of Patriot Coal.[2]

Union organizing efforts

Local clergy, miners, spouses, and supporters held a prayer vigil outside the 49% Peabody owned Kanawha Eagle coal mine on December 5, 2006, in support of miners organizing a union with the United Mine Workers of America.[3]

The prayer vigil was organized by Religious Leaders for Coalfield Justice, commemorated the one-year anniversary of the public launch of the campaign.[3]

During the vigil, participants prayed for Peabody Energy to embrace religious teachings calling on employers not to interfere in their workers’ decision to organize and prayed for God to strengthen the miners in the face of interference from Peabody management.[3]

“It takes spirit, God-given spirit to organize,” said the Reverend Jim Lewis, a Charleston, West Virginia, Episcopal priest and founding member of Religious Leaders for Coalfield Justice (RLCJ). “Miners know they have to organize for their safety, job security, family and community. And nobody better get in their way or try to stop them. Spirit-filled miners have power.”[3]

Over 600 religious leaders signed a statement calling on Peabody Energy “to refrain from intimidating, threatening and firing miners who are working to organize a union,” and “to be truly neutral with respect to employees’ rights to form or join a union and to voluntarily recognize a union when a majority of their employees sign authorizations.”[3]

"I have no choice but to stand with the miners who seek to organize a union at Peabody, because their right to organize has been denied by the company," said the Reverend Dennis Sparks, Executive Director of the West Virginia Council of Churches and member of RLCJ. "As a Christian, it is an issue of justice. My prayer is for a reconciliation between miners and the company."[3]

Mine Data

  • MSHA ID: 4608759
  • Operator: Newtown Energy Inc, Kanawha Eagle Coal
  • Controller: Robert E Ellis, Patriot Coal
  • Union:
  • County: Kanawha
  • State: WV
  • Latitude: 38.15
  • Longitude: -81.56
  • 2007 Production (short tons): 1,233,721
  • Coal Type: Bituminous
  • Mining Method: Underground
  • Mine Status: Active
  • Average No. of Employees: 176

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  1. "Appalachia Operations" Patriot Coal, accessed April 2011.
  2. "Appalachia Coal Operations," Intierra Resource Intelligence, accessed December 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 "Religious Leaders Hold Prayer Vigil Calling for Justice at Peabody," Justice at Peabody News, 12/5/06

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