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Southern Coal gets AEP contract, recalls workers

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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — Southern Coal Corp. is recalling several hundred laid-off miners in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia and plans to hire 650 new workers.

Roanoke-based Southern Coal announced Tuesday that it has entered into a multiyear contract to supply coal to American Electric Power. The contract will allow it to restart mines idled earlier this year and to save 500 jobs.

Southern Coal is owned by the Justice family, which includes Jim Justice, who also owns The Greenbrier resort. He and his son Jay Justice said in a statement that they hope the announcement makes the holidays "a little better" for those affected.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin say the AEP contract is good news for the workers and their states' economies.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.