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Patriot Coal idles Big Mountain complex

World Coal,

Patriot Coal Corp. has begun to reduce its production of both coking and thermal coal, citing a weak export market and depressed domestic demand. The decrease in demand has lead Patriot to close its Big Mountain complex in Boone County.

The Big Mountain complex produced 1.8 million t of coal in 2011. Patriot has predicted sales volumes for the 2012 to be in the range of 27 to 29 million t, including met sales of 7 to 7.8 million t; this is down from 31.1 million t and 7.4 million t. last year.

The reduced demand for coal is not merely a phenomenon unique to the USA, even China, the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal, has reduced its imports as most of its power plants have large reserve stocks and remain well supplied.

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