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Arch Coal’s Mountain Laurel Mining Complex Named Semifinalist For 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award

April 29, 2011 at 10:35 AM EDT

ARLINGTON, Va., April 29, 2011 -- Arch Coal, Inc.’s (NYSE:ACI) Mingo Logan Coal Company’s Mountain Laurel mining complex has been chosen as a semifinalist for the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, according to the national headquarters of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) organization.

The Freedom Award is the DoD’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of their employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. Semifinalists stood out for their support of military employees as nationwide nominations for the Freedom Award rose 64 percent over last year to 4,049 total nominations submitted by service members in 2011, according to ESGR. Recently retired Army Reserve First Sergeant John Worley, who served with the 1st of the 80th Engineer Battalion in Kingwood, W.Va., nominated the company for the Freedom Award.

“Arch Coal is delighted to be among the semifinalists for this prestigious award,” said Arch Coal President and Chief Operating Officer John W. Eaves. “We are thankful for the commitment that our Guard and Reserve employees have made to our nation, as well as our company, and we are proud of them for their service.”

Arch’s Mountain Laurel mining complex supports its Guard and Reserve employees through a variety of formal and informal initiatives, including providing the difference between military and civilian pay during deployments, continuing health benefits, sending care packages and supporting the families of employees fulfilling military obligations. Mountain Laurel previously has been honored with the ESGR Patriot Award.

“Our nation’s ability to rely on the Guard and Reserve through nearly 10 years of war and during historic natural disasters is made possible by the tremendous support of employers,” said ESGR National Chair James G. Rebholz. “The employers selected as semifinalists have distinguished themselves by going above and beyond what the law requires, and I want to thank them for their critical support on behalf of our service members and our nation.”

A national review board will narrow the group of 148 semifinalists to 30 finalists for the Freedom Award. Then, a national selection board comprised of senior defense officials, business leaders and prior awardees will select the 15 recipients for the 2011 Freedom Award. The DoD is expected to announce the finalists in May and the award recipients in early summer. The 2011 recipients will be honored in Washington, D.C. at the 16th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony on Sept. 22, 2011.

St. Louis-based Arch Coal is one of the world’s largest coal producers, with more than 160 million tons of coal sold in 2010. Arch's national network of mines supplies cleaner-burning, low-sulfur coal to customers on four continents, including U.S. and international power producers and steel manufacturers.