Associated Press Published

Justice Says Coal Operations Buyback Includes Liabilities

Jim Justice

Billionaire Jim Justice says his buyback of coal mining operations in West Virginia includes some big liabilities.

Justice completed the $5 million acquisition of Bluestone Inc. from Russian mining and metals company Mechel OAO last month. He had sold Bluestone’s mining operations to Mechel in 2009 for $436 million in cash and more than $83 million in preferred shares.

Justice tells The Charleston Gazette that he assumed responsibility for the company’s reclamation costs. He says there’s also a pension liability, worth tens of millions of dollars, and taxes Mechel owed to counties where the mines operated.

West Virginia Environmental Protection Secretary Randy Huffman says the mining operations’ reclamation costs could be up to $60 million.