“The decision to idle two mines and lay off 138 employees at this particular time was extremely difficult, but unavoidable,” said Lynn Shanks, president and CEO. “International and domestic coal markets continue to remain soft. Additionally, the escalating costs and uncertainty generated by recently advanced EPA regulations and interpretations have created a challenging business climate for the entire coal industry.”

PBS Coals will produce 2 million tons of met coal from four deep mines and one surface mine in 2013. The company will now employ 600. It remains cautiously optimistic that the global market for met coal will improve in 2013.