Iron Senergy Responds to Questions about the Cumberland Mine

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Iron Senergy (“Iron”), the owner and operator of the Cumberland Mine located in Greene County, Pennsylvania, is aware that members of the international and local leadership of the United Mine Workers of America (“UMWA”) have issued press releases and commissioned news articles indicating that the Cumberland Mine is permanently closing. These reports are false.

Prior to Iron’s acquisition of the Cumberland Mine from Contura Energy, the Cumberland Mine was set to be permanently closed in December 2022. In the last three (3) years, however, Iron and its owner Justin Thompson have deployed over $130 million in capital to extend the life of, and invest in the future success of, the Cumberland Mine. In addition, Iron has significantly reclaimed and repurposed the former Emerald Mine (which was closed in 2015), rebranding it as the “Greene Energy Center”, which now hosts a number of industrial applications, including a new frac-sand transloading facility, all of which have created jobs and tax dollars and benefited the local economy.

Along the way, Iron has added over 100 full-time employees at the Cumberland Mine and donated over $3 million to over 150 local community organizations. Any suggestion by the UMWA in its public statements that Iron has treated its employees unfairly, or that Iron does not understand its importance within the community, is patently false and would be refuted by an overwhelming majority of the workforce at the Cumberland Mine and the citizens of Greene County, Pennsylvania.

Furthermore, any suggestion by the UMWA that Iron is failing to communicate adequately with the UMWA is unfounded. Iron has a well-documented history of meeting regularly with the UMWA to discuss issues and will continue to engage as needed and when reasonably convenient. Iron will not, however, respond to unreasonable demands for in-person meetings, on short notice, ahead of a holiday weekend, when management is traveling and/or spending time with family. Prior to the issuance of the aforementioned UMWA press release, Iron made it clear in written communications to the UMWA that Iron is willing to schedule a meeting in the near future when mutually convenient for the parties.

The workers at the Cumberland Mine were sent home on March 20, 2024 as a result of elevated methane levels detected in the Cumberland Mine. Those workers will be called back to work when Iron determines that the Cumberland Mine can be operated safely and compliantly and when sufficient modes of transportation are made available by Iron’s customers to reduce inventory levels and justify the recommencement of mining activities, which has only been compounded by the recent closure of the Port of Baltimore as a result of the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Subject to the foregoing, Iron fully expects to resume production in the coming days as previously planned.

While unfortunate, the public statements issued and commissioned by the UMWA have generated a number of unnecessary rumors and questions about the future of the Cumberland Mine. As evident by Iron’s investment in the Cumberland Mine, its workforce and the community over the past three (3) years, Iron desires to experience the continued operation and success of the Cumberland Mine. However, like every other coal producer in the United States, Iron will continue to evaluate the continued operation of the Cumberland Mine based on a number of relevant factors, including its ability to operate a safe and compliant coal mine, its ability to adequately staff its operations with qualified personnel, and its view on the long-term commitment of its customer base. That type of evaluation commenced in December 2020 when Iron acquired the Cumberland Mine, has occurred each year since then and will continue to occur in 2024 and beyond. The UMWA should not confuse that evaluation, and the related planning activities related thereto, as a decision to permanently close the Cumberland Mine at any particular time.