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Alpha Natural Resources files for bankruptcy

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World Coal,

Alpha Natural Resources, the third-largest coal mining company in the US, has filed for voluntary bankruptcy at the US Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Virginia, the company announced in a press release.

“The Board of Directors of Alpha Natural Resources authorised the filing of the Chapter 11 cases to enhance the company’s future as it weathers a historically challenged coal market,” the company said. “The relief provided by Chapter 11 will allow the company to reorganise and emerge as a financially viable business that is better positioned to compete in dynamic energy markets.”

The company has secured an 18 month debter-in-possession financing package of US$692 million from a group of the company’s secured creditors. Last month, Alpha Natural Resources was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange after its share price collapsed.

Alpha Natural Resources and its affiliates operate more than 50 underground and opencast mines, as well as more than 20 coal preparation facilities, in Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Wyoming. According to the company, normal business operations will continue uninterrupted through the bankruptcy proceedings.

“The changes and challenges the US coal industry has experienced over the last several years are greater than any in the past three decades,” said Kevin Crutchfield, Chairman and CEO of Alpha Natural Resources. “There is no doubt more uncertainty ahead but also transformational opportunity in the coal sector for those who make proactive, strategic decisions.”

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