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Peabody closes Viking mine in Indiana

World Coal,

Peabody Energy has closed its Viking opencast coal mine in Daviess County, Indiana.

The closure takes place several months after the expected closure of the mine, as reserves of high-sulfur thermal coal begin to run out.

Peabody spokeswoman, Charlene Murdock, said confirmed via email that “Production operations at Viking mine have been finalised.”

The mine had been winding down over a long period, with the closure originally expected in late 2013.

The Viking mine produced almost 1.5 million short t of coal in 2011. However the mine’s output dipped to 1.3 million short t in 2012 and finally to 1.1 million short t in 2013, according to the US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

In Q1 2014, Viking produced only 106,101 short t, MSHA figures show.

Though St. Louis-based Peabody knew Viking was on borrowed time, the company decided late last year to continue production for at least a few more months.

Viking was formerly owned by Black Beauty Coal, which was acquired by Peabody over ten years ago. Viking was operated by Peabody Midwest Mining, a Peabody subsidiary.

Peabody continues to operate several former Black Beauty mines in southern Indiana. Peabody's largest mine in the state, however, is its Bear Run opencast mine in Sullivan County. 

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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