(Adds background, details)
July 21 Arch Coal Inc said it would idle
its Cumberland River coal company complex in Kentucky and
Virginia to limit production of steel-making coal amid depressed
Idling of the complex will lead to elimination of 213 jobs
and reduce the company's full-year metallurgical coal volumes by
about 200,000 tons, said Arch Coal, which employed about 5,350
people as of Dec. 31.
Excess supply of metallurgical coal, coupled with lower
Asian demand for steel, has depressed prices, forcing several
companies to cut costs and shut mines.
Cliffs Natural Resources said in June it plans to
idle its Pinnacle metallurgical coal mine in West Virginia.
Bigger rival Peabody Energy also said in April it
was reviewing some of its higher-cost operations.
Arch Coal is turning its focus on producing met coal from
its low-cost assets in Appalachia. The company has eight mines
in the region.
The coal miner cut the top end of its 2014 met coal forecast
to 6.9 million tons from 7.3 million tons, but maintained the
lower end at 6.3 million tons.
In the first half of 2014, Cumberland River sold about
290,000 tons of coal, consisting mainly of higher-cost
metallurgical grade coal.
Arch Coal's New York-listed shares closed at $2.99 on
(Reporting By Kanika Sikka in Bangalore; Editing by Don