OREANDA-NEWS. Walter Energy has temporarily laid off 265 mine workers from its coal mine No. 7 in Alabama because of geological difficulties and poor market conditions.

"Once through the geological difficulty, we hope to resume normal production," Walter said. The company did not elaborate on the nature of the geological problems at the mine nor did it say how much production would be lost.

The company's website said its No. 4 and No. 7 coal mines in Alabama are among the deepest in North America, at 1,400 to 2,100 feet underground.

The temporary cuts amount to roughly half of the mine's staff. The mine had 535 workers before the layoff.

Last year, Mine No. 7 produced 5.23mn short tons (4.74mn metric tonnes), according to the US Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Walter did not file a warning notice with the Alabama Department of Labor because the layoffs are temporary. The company already has laid off several hundred workers this year because of weak market conditions. Last month, Walter laid off 129 employees of its Mine No. 4 as part of a warning it had filed in July to 416 workers. In March and May it sent warning notices to a total of 408 Mine No. 7 employees although it was not immediately clear if all of those positions were ultimately eliminated.