Dickenson-Russell Coal, an affiliate of US based coal producer Alpha Natural Resources, will idle the Moss #3 coal preparation plant in Russell County, Virginia.

The scheduled idling will impact a total of 38 employees and coal sales volumes will be unaffected by the plant shut down, the company said.

Dickenson-Russell president Ron Patrick said that the company’s raw coal supply volume has been significantly reduced over the last 12 to 18 months.

"Without its normal throughput inventory, the cost to operate the plant was not economically sustainable," Patrick said.

Alpha Natural Resources is a supplier and exporter of metallurgical coal used in the steel-making process and it also supplies thermal coal to electric utilities and manufacturing industries across the US.