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Patriot to idle Logan County coal complex

World Coal,

Patriot Coal Corp. plans to idle its Logan County complex near Man, West Virginia, reducing thermal coal production by approximately 2 million short tpa. According to a company statement, the Guyan opencast mine and the Fanco coal preparation plant and rail loadout will be closed, affecting a total of 250 employees.

The company is making efforts to place employees into open positions at other Patriot subsidiary operations and currently anticipates that about 50 employees will be offered jobs at those locations.

“This is an unfortunate but necessary step to align Patriot's production with expected sales," said Patriot president and CEO, Bennett K. Hatfield.  "Despite the substantial progress being made in the Patriot reorganisation, we still have to contend with the industry-wide challenge of coal prices that have fallen well below production costs at many Central Appalachian mines.  Thermal coal markets are extremely weak due to low natural gas prices and costly regulatory changes that have reduced coal-fuelled electricity generation capacity."

Adapted from press release by Jonathan Rowland

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