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James River Coal wants to auction off business

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James River Coal Co. intends to sell parts or all of its business at an auction in July.

The Richmond-based company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month as it faced challenges from the weak economy, environmental regulations and competition from natural gas.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that James River Coal has been working with advisers for three months to find potential buyers for its business or to obtain a capital investment.

According to court filings, the company is seeking preliminary indications of interest by May 22, with a bidding deadline of June 30.

The auction would be July 8, with a sale hearing in court on July 11.

The company mines coal used to produce steel and for power generation in Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana.

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