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

July 3, 2019
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This photo shows the entrance to Eagle Butte mine seen taped in Gillette, Wyo., Tuesday, July 2, 2019. The CEO of one of the nation's largest coal producers says he's confident the company will bounce back despite the shutdown of several mines after it filed for federal bankruptcy protection. (Josh Galemore/The Casper Star-Tribune via AP)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal judge has approved a $5 million lifeline to help one of the country’s largest coal producers navigate bankruptcy on the condition that its CEO step down.

Court documents filed 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 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 say it’s the sixth-largest coal producer.

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

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