GIBSON CO., Ind. (WFIE) - Peabody Coal’s mine in Somerville will be closing this fall, affecting more than one hundred workers.
The surface mine is located just south of Oakland City, off Highway 57.
"I know what a tragedy it is,” County Commissioner Stephen Bottoms told 14 news. “It deeply affects the workers but also their families."
According to the company’s website, this mine produced 2 million tons of coal last year.
In the warn notice, it says the closure is because of “uneconomical business conditions.”
Bottoms, now a county commissioner, worked at seven different mines and says he was laid off many times.
“And at first you’re not happy, you’re maybe even a little angry, that’s part of it, denial,” Bottoms recalled. “Again, they’re resilient people they will overcoming this.”
128 employees in all are affected. But, we’re learning Peabody may offer those workers positions at its other locations including Francisco, Lynnville, and Carlisle, Indiana as well as Equality, Illinois.
"They’re workers, they won’t give up,” Bottoms explained. “They’ll be out there looking for other jobs.”
The county, which is large in landmass, but low on population, could take an economic hit if a large portion of those workers choose to move away.
"So, we do hate to lose the people but many of them will stay and get other jobs,” Bottoms added. “We need more people in Gibson County.”
14 News has also learned there will be a period of mine reclamation and it’s possible a limited number of employees will be asked to stay through that process.
Our staff left a message Tuesday evening with Peabody’s corporate headquarters in Saint Louis.
Commissioner Bottoms stated that Toyota, in Gibson County, is taking applications right now.