Citing unidentified individuals familiar with the talks, the Wall Street Journal recently said that it is not known specifically which needs they have sought assistance with; however, both firms have restricting advisors that aid with fundraising, divesting assets and cost-cutting options.

Patriot Coal first filed for bankruptcy in 2012, recording a debt load of $3 billion. It confirmed December 18, 2013 that it had emerged from the case as a reorganized company with a strong balance sheet, competitive cost structure and solid customer base.

While the industry was hitting rough waters at the time – a period coal is still feeling the effects of today – officials were looking forward to post-filing progress and said Patriot was poised for “a bright future.”

“Having streamlined our operations through the reorganization process, Patriot is poised to respond quickly to changes in the markets,” President and CEO Bennett Hatfield said at the time.

“Utilizing our existing mine complexes and the company’s large coal reserve base, we can add incremental production at competitive costs with modest capital requirements.”