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Patriot adds coal production unit at Kentucky mine

World Coal,

Patriot Coal has announced plans to add another production unit to its Highland No. 9 underground steam coal mine in Kentucky in early 2014.

The company, based in St. Louis, intends to hire approximately 80 new employees at the Highland mine, despite still being under bankruptcy reorganisation.

"Essentially, we have now switched Highland to a seven-day working schedule, so we've added a day, so to speak," said Patriot spokeswoman Janine Orf, confirming statements from a United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) official last week that Patriot was implementing such a schedule.

In the first quarter 2014, Patriot plans to “add another unit of production and likely will add another 40 or so employees," Orf added. No indication of how much production is expected to increase was given.

The Highland mining operation produces coal from the Kentucky No. 9 seam, which is known for its high sulfur content.

The mine produced 1.54 million short t of coal in the first half of 2013 and 3.9 million short t in 2012.

Last month, the UMWA sanctioned a new labour agreement with Patriot Coal, which spun off from Peabody Energy a number of years ago.


Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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