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Rhino Resource Partners to explore JV proposal

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World Coal,

Rhino Resouce Partners and ION Carbon & Minerals, a subsidiary or AMCI Holdings, are to explore a potential joint venture (JV), according to a Rhino press release. The proposed JV would be called Encore Global Commodities and would focus on developing and marketing Rhino’s thermal, metallurgical and speciality coals.

“The Encore JV with AMCI has the potential to broaden and expand the reach of Rhino’s coal, in addition to moving our production into historically underserved and under utilized markets,” said Joe Funk, President and CEO of Rhino’s general partner.

“AMCI’s experience, expertise and global relationships with customers should provide Rhino with a substantial opportunity to grow our sales and cash flow through a joint venture framework. We anticipate the joint venture would become a significant marketing entity for all Rhino coals that would build strong, direct relationships between the partnership and its customers.”

The initial agreement provides a 60 day due diligence period for Rhino and AMCI to review and finalise the formation of the JV. The proposal comes following the acquisition by Royal Energy Resources of a majority stake in Rhino’s general partner. According to the Rhino press release, Royal introduced the JV partners.

“Encore will be positioned to take advantage of the complementary experience and strength of the two partner, allowing Rhino to tap into AMCI’s global presence as needed and on a mostly variable cost basis,” said Patrick Valentine, Managing Director of Ion Carbon. “This is the way to thrive and grow in today’s environment.”

Rhino Resource Partners produces thermal and metallurgical coal in a variety of coal basins in the US, including Central and Northern Appalachia and in the Western Coalfields in Utah and Colorado. It also leases coal through its Elk Horn subsidiary.

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