The decision to halt production is part of the company’s effort to tackle high coal inventory levels caused by CSX rail service disruption and weak demand for coal.

The coal-fired plant closures directed by EPA emission regulations, low-cost natural gas, and declining exports have significantly affected Appalachian thermal coal markets, the company said.

Patriot Coal will continue to process and ship coal from on-site stockpiles during the idle period.

Patriot Coal is expected to resume operations in approximately three to four weeks.

The Samples mine dropped production capacities in response to reduced coal demand, affecting around 35 jobs.

Patriot Coal has a workforce of around 400 at the Paint Creek Complex. It manages about 1.4 billion tons of proven and probable coal reserves and serves domestic and international electricity generators, industrial users and metallurgical coal customers.