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Arch Coal's West Elk Mine Earns National Recognition for Five-Year Safety Record


SOMERSET, Colo. (October 26, 2005) – Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) today announced that Mountain Coal Company's West Elk mine has been nationally recognized for its five-year safety record.

The Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently presented West Elk with a Certificate of Honor for its exceptional safety performance over five consecutive years – or more than 4 million employee-hours.

West Elk Mine is one of the nation's safest underground mines, with a safety performance 80 percent better than the coal industry's national average based on lost-time incident rates among underground mines. Earlier this year, West Elk earned the Rocky Mountain Mining Institute's "Safest Underground Mine Award" for its 2004 performance.

Mountain Coal Company's West Elk mine is located in Somerset, Colo. West Elk is one of the most efficient underground coal mines in the United States, with a production rate of 6.5 million tons per year and an average productivity rate of 90 tons per employee-shift. Roughly 400 people are employed at West Elk.

St. Louis-based Arch Coal is the nation's second largest coal producer and mines low-sulfur coal exclusively. Through its subsidiary operations in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, Arch provides the fuel for approximately 7 percent of the electricity generated in the United States. More information is available at www.archcoal.com.