Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE:ANR) announced plans for a strategic repositioning of its operations, one component of which is the immediate idling of eight mines located in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Moving forward, the company intends to focus on enhancing its position in domestic and international metallurgical coal markets and establishing a cost-competitive core of thermal coal assets.
Kevin Crutchfield, Alpha’s chairman and CEO, commented:
With fundamental changes taking place in our business, we’re taking decisive actions that set the table for Alpha to compete successfully as a leader in the global coal markets for years to come.
We’re taking a long-term view of the thermal coal market, and we believe there are solid opportunities for diversified suppliers like Alpha to produce and sell thermal coal profitably into a smaller domestic market and to customers in new markets overseas. At the same time we have a big opportunity to advance Alpha’s position as a premier supplier of metallurgical coal. Forecasts point to more than 100 million tons of increased seaborne metallurgical coal demand by the end of this decade, and persistent structural supply limitations exist on sources of high-quality metallurgical coal. We intend to participate meaningfully in the market upside with costs that are globally competitive.