Wyoming Machinery in Mills Gets Pledge from Blackjewel That its Equipment is Safe
Wyoming Machinery Co., has temporarily resolved a dispute with Blackjewel LLC, owner of the Belle Ayr and Eagle Butte mines, over the fate of the Mills-based company's equipment at the mines.
Last week, the Milton, W.Va.-based Blackjewel failed to obtain emergency funding to keep the mines open, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy business reorganization, closed the mines and sent more than 600 employees home with no notice, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Wyoming Machinery owns a lot of equipment at the mines and it provides monthly about $3 million in maintenance and other services at the mines.
A hearing was set in the bankruptcy court for July 31 to formalize the Chapter 11 filing, which would keep Blackjewel's creditors at bay while it restructures the company.
That was too long a wait for Wyoming Machinery: "Every day in which the Debtors are allowed to deliberate over the Agreements, WMC suffers under the threat of increasing damages in the form of mounting post-petition [Chapter 11] claims against the Debtors' estates and danger to its interests in persons and property."
On July 5, it asked the court for an emergency hearing to compel Blackjewel to immediately determine whether it could meet its obligations.
On Tuesday, the court responded to Wyoming Machinery Co.'s motion to set a hearing for Friday, and Bankruptcy Court Judge Frank Volk agreed.
Meanwhile, representatives of Blackjewel and Wyoming Machinery Co., met, according to a court document filed Thursday.
"During those discussions, the Debtors provided adequate assurances to WMC that WMC's property and personnel is presently secure and not in danger of loss due to fire, flood or other hazards," according to attorneys for Wyoming Machinery.
With those assurances, Blackjewel and Wyoming Machinery asked the court to delay the previous motion to compel.
During a conference call Friday morning from the bankruptcy court in West Virginia, Judge Volk said he approved the agreement.
The delay in the hearing also will allow Blackjewel to pursue obtaining more "debtor in possession" financing for that company's owners to find enough money to reopen the mines.