MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Alpha Natural Resources has announced the transfer of mostly idle mining properties in West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee to Lexington Coal Co., related ongoing royalty payments and reclamation equipment.

Alpha, based in Kingsport, Tennessee, says that eliminates self-bonding in West Virginia nine years early.

The company emerged from bankruptcy reorganization last year.

Lexington Coal CEO Steven Poe says the transfer includes some 250 permits, five active mines in West Virginia and Kentucky and bonding representing $192 million.

The companies say Kentucky-based Lexington will receive $199 million in cash and $126 million in installments toward bonding, reclamation, water treatment and other obligations.

Alpha will continue operating 20 mines and 9 prep plants in West Virginia, and the company still expects to produce 14 million tons of metallurgical and thermal coal in 2017.

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