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Cumberland coal mine forced to halt production

World Coal,

Cumberland Coal Resources LP, a subsidiary of Alpha Natural Resources, has temporarily suspended production at its Cumberland underground longwall mine in Greene County, Pennsylvania. due to adverse geological conditions in the mine's headgate area.

While mine employees work to mitigate the conditions that halted operations, the mine is on idle status as of July 15. Coal shipments from the mine have, therefore, ceased. Cumberland's management currently anticipates that it will be at least several weeks before production resumes. During this period the mine will maintain a reduced workforce of employees, who are key to bringing the longwall back into production.

Alpha has mining operations in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wyoming. The company supplies metallurgical coal to the steel industry and thermal coal to generate power to customers on five continents.

News that the Cumberland mine will temporarily halt production comes shortly after Alpha released a statement in which it indicated the company would announce its second quarter 2013 results before the market opens on Friday, 2 August, 2013.

In the most recent quarter, Alpha reported “better than expected results,” due in part to what the company saw as improvement on “the cost front.” However, the company acknowledged currently weak coal markets “remain a hurdle” to a recovery in healthy financial resources.

It is not yet known how the closure of the Cumberland mine will affect Alpha’s financial results.

Adapted from press release by Samuel Dodson

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