“For more than 36 years, the Pontiki mining complex has operated safely and profitably —providing quality jobs for hardworking people and meeting the needs of customers,” said ARLP CEO Joseph W. Craft III. “When Pontiki resumed production last year, we knew the market was uncertain but were hopeful conditions would improve; unfortunately, market conditions remain weak and we have been unable to secure commitments beyond existing contracts.”

ARLP officials said the company continues executing on growth projects in the Illinois Basin and northern Appalachia, while considering employment for Pontiki personnel at other operations in those regions; information sessions allowing Pontiki workers to learn more are pending.

Following a closure order by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) with respect to the Pontiki coal preparation plant and associated surface facilities, Pontiki was temporarily idled in Q3 2012, resuming operations in Q4. Within that mine idling, ARLP recorded $26.6 million of related losses and charges last year, including a $19-million non-cash asset impairment charge.