Rhino did not identify the individual mines affected by the temporary closures. Its Central App operations, however, include the Tug River complex in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia, and the Deane and Rob Fork complexes in eastern Kentucky.
The company’s overall production during the second quarter was not significantly affected by the shutdowns. Rhino produced just over 1 million tons in the three months ended June 30, down slightly from 1.1 million tons in the first quarter of 2012. The company remains on track to produce at least 4 million tons this year.
During the latest quarter, Rhino produced 171,000 tons of steam coal and 99,000 tons of met coal in Central App.
Northern Appalachia, with 477,000 tons of steam coal, was the company’s most productive region in the second quarter.
Rhino also produced 220,000 tons at its Castle Valley operation in Utah, where the underground mine in June recorded its first 100,000 ton-plus sales month under Rhino’s stewardship.
Meanwhile, the Rhino Eastern joint venture between Rhino and Patriot Coal Co. produced 98,000 tons of met coal in the second quarter. Rhino Eastern is located in Raleigh and Wyoming counties, W.Va.
In a July operational update, Rhino said the impact of Patriot’s bankruptcy filing earlier this year on Rhino Eastern remained uncertain. Rhino said it expected the joint venture to continue normal operations.
In a subsequent July filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, David Zatezalo, Rhino president and CEO, said the company expected to settle its 2013 met coal contracts late in the third quarter of 2012. Zatezalo said the U.S. coal market is “cyclically depressed, and while our steam coal is well contracted through 2014, our metallurgical coal is contracted annually.”