Cumberland River, a subsidiary of its Catenary Coal Holdings arm, is made up of two underground operations and related facilities; the complex already shuttered two other contract mines during Q2 2013.
The company said July 21 that it is working to provide opportunities to the impacted individuals where possible.
“With this move, we are actively responding to currently challenged metallurgical coal markets while striving to enhance our overall competitive cost position in Appalachia,” said John W. Eaves, Arch president and chief executive officer. “Our strategy is to increasingly shift our portfolio toward higher-margin, lower-cost metallurgical coal operations, while retaining our valuable reserves for when market conditions strengthen in the future.”
Eaves added that the company “deeply regret[s]” the need to take action and noted that it will continue to serve both domestic and international customers going forward.
Cumberland River sold approximately 290,000 tons in the first half of 2014, consisting primarily of higher-cost metallurgical grade coal. Arch said the idle at Cumberland River will reduce its annual 2014 met coal sales volumes by approximately 200,000 tons.
As a result, the producer is now projecting 6.3 million to 6.9 million tons of met coal shipments for 2014.
Arch plans to provide an update regarding its full year 2014 expectations in its second quarter 2014 earnings release on July 29.