Judge sets mediation date for Blackjewel and former miners

After filing for bankruptcy, Blackjewel LLC shut down the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr coal mines near Gillette, Wyo. (MGN)
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HYDEN, Ky. (WBKO/WYMT) -- A bankruptcy court in West Virginia is charting the course for a dispute between bankrupt coal company Blackjewel and former miners.

A federal magistrate was originally scheduled to step in by mid-October, but now an official mediation is scheduled to begin November 4.

Miners said they have gone without pay since the company's bankruptcy declaration on July 1. Many of them said their last checks from the company bounced.

In Harlan County, the community rallied around miners who protested on train tracks to block Blackjewel coal from rolling out. The protest ended in late September, with miners continuing to wait for closure.

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