1 of 2 American Coal mines in southern Illinois to close

GALATIA, Ill. (AP) — One of two mines in a southern Illinois community is expected to cease operations by the middle of next year. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports Friday that it’s the American Coal Company’s New Era Mine that’ll close as it reaches the end of its reserves. The other mine in Galatia, New Future Mine, will remain open. The newspaper cites a statement from the Ohio-based parent company, Murray Energy Corp. It isn’t clear how workers would be affected by the mine’s shutdown. When asked, a spokesman referred the newspaper to a statement earlier this week that American Coal was laying off 50 workers. That was a third round of 2015 layoffs. Murray has blamed President Barack Obama’s administration and wider use of natural gas for reductions in its workforce.