Sale of troubled Kemmerer coal mine in Wyoming falls through

first_imgSale of troubled Kemmerer coal mine in Wyoming falls through FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Casper Star Tribune:The Virginia businessman who’d planned to purchase and operate a troubled coal mine in western Wyoming has backed out after a failure to secure bonding ahead of a deadline.Bankrupt Westmoreland Resource Partners was set to sell the Kemmerer mine in western Wyoming to Tom Clarke — a businessman from Virginia who first made his fortune in the health industry but has dabbled, sometimes controversially, in mining operations in recent years.The bankruptcy court approved a sale of the Kemmerer mine to Clarke in March for $7.5 million in cash and more than $200 million in secured promissory notes. Westmoreland lenders, however, objected to Clarke’s acquisition of the Kemmerer operation soon after, arguing that Clarke was attempting to close the sale without having first provided collateral or surety for reclamation liabilities in southern Wyoming.If Clarke had not taken over that responsibility, it would have remained with Westmoreland’s first-in-line lenders.In a meeting Tuesday in Texas to discuss the objection, it was disclosed to the parties in the bankruptcy that Clarke had rescinded his offer, following an extension and failed attempts to come to an agreement on bonding with Zurich Insurance, according to sources included in the meeting.Peter Morgan, a senior attorney for the Sierra Club, said in an emailed comment Tuesday that Clarke’s failure to secure bonding is indicative of larger issues in coal and should be noted. “The companies that operate these mines, and the lenders who have invested in them, are pretending like everything’s fine and the industry isn’t going through a historic shift as demand plummets,” he said. “But the surety bond providers who will bear the cost to reclaim these mine sites, if and when they fail, are now taking action to protect themselves.”More: Virginia businessman no longer buying troubled Kemmerer coal minelast_img

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