Arch Coal Resumes Longwall Production at West Elk
St. Louis – July 13, 2000 - Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) announced today that it resumed longwall production at its West Elk mine in Gunnison County, Colorado, yesterday evening. West Elk had been idled on January 28, 2000, following the detection of combustion-related gases there.
"We are very pleased to have the mine operational again," said Gene DiClaudio, president of Arch’s Mountain Coal subsidiary and general manager of the West Elk mine. "The West Elk work force has done a tremendous job of rehabilitating the mine and making the necessary preparations to resume normal operations. We expect the mine to steadily climb to normal levels of productivity within the next few weeks."
Since the detection of the gases, West Elk has completely sealed off the old mine workings where the combustion occurred and flooded the affected area with water. "We are confident that the mine is safe and that the problem is behind us," DiClaudio said.
West Elk produced 7.3 million tons of coal last year and employs approximately 300 people. Most of the mine’s output is sold to electric power plants in the western and midwestern United States.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including Arch Coal’s expectations concerning certain operating events and the timing of such events. Although Arch Coal, Inc. believes the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be attained. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include changes in local or national economic conditions; changes in mining rates and costs for a variety of operational, geologic, permitting, labor and weather-related reasons, including equipment availability; and other risks detailed from time to time in the company’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, reports on Form 8-K, and annual reports on Form 10-K.
Arch Coal is the nation’s second largest coal producer, with subsidiary operations in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah. Through these operations, Arch Coal provides the fuel for approximately 6% of the electricity generated in the United States.