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James River’s $52 Million Sale to Blackhawk Unit Approved

James River Coal Co., the bankrupt mining company, won court approval to sell assets to a unit of Blackhawk Mining LLC for $52 million after several false starts at conducting an auction for the business.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Huennekens approved the sale today at a hearing in Richmond, Virginia. The unit will pay $20 million in cash and assume $32 million in liabilities, according to court papers.

Blackhawk Mining, based in Lexington, Kentucky, operates mines and coal-processing facilities. James River’s Hamden mining complexes, assets of the Logan & Kanawha Coal Co. and the Triad complex are included in the sale, according to court filings.

James River, based in Richmond, sought bankruptcy protection from creditors April 7, listing more than $800 million in debt and $1 billion in assets. Declining coal prices caused it to idle a dozen mines. The company repeatedly set, and then postponed, auction dates as it sought a lead bidder for the assets.

The case is In re James River Coal Co., 14-bk-31848, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond).

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