“Metallurgical coal demand has trended steadily downward in recent weeks, most notably in the export market,” said Patriot President and CEO Richard M. Whiting. “These production cuts, in conjunction with other cost-reduction measures being implemented concurrently, are aimed at lowering our mining costs, aligning production with identified sales, and preserving high-quality reserves for a stronger market. During 2011 we increased metallurgical coal production to match the needs of the market. The modular nature of our Met Build-Out program allows flexibility to dial production up or down in line with market circumstances. These changes will trim output from our highest cost sources while the met market finds its balance. As world economies return to normal growth rates, we expect a resumption of the longer-term growth trend for metallurgical coal demand that should allow us to bring much of this production back on line.”
The company plans to provide guidance for 2012, including anticipated metallurgical coal volume, in conjunction with its fourth quarter earnings report.