“We wanted to honor Steve for two decades of exceptional service and leadership,” said Arch’s Lead Director James R. Boyd. “It is fitting to name this brand-new, world-class mining complex in honor of Steve and his vision of safety excellence, environmental stewardship and strategic growth. We view the Leer mine as one of Arch’s most exciting new growth projects and an integral part of our company’s future.”

Initiated by International Coal Group (ICG), and acquired by Arch Coal in 2011, the Leer mine is a metallurgical coal mine currently under development in Taylor County, W.Va. With the startup of the longwall in mid-2013, the Leer mine is expected to produce 3.5 million tons of premium metallurgical coal annually.

“I’m honored to have my name forever associated with this new operation, which I believe is destined to become one of the world’s premier coal mines,” said Leer. “It has been a great privilege to be associated with Arch for 20 years and counting, and I am more enthusiastic than ever about the company’s exciting future prospects.”

With more than 20 active mining complexes across every major U.S. coal supply basin, Arch Coal sold 155 million tons of coal in 2011. At the same time, the company led the U.S. coal industry in safety performance and environmental compliance among large, diversified producers.