A large Mingo County metallurgical coal mining complex is changing hands.
St. Louis based Arch Coal announced today that it's selling its Ben Creek Complex in Wharncliffe to Alpha Natural Resources for approximately 40 million dollars.
For that, Alpha gets two underground mines, just over nine million tons of coal reserves and a prep plant.
Arch says the sale gives it financial flexibility and a gain to offset losses on several low-priced sales contracts in the current quarter.
The deal also gets Arch out of the mine as it faces a big production decline. The complex's longwall operation produced more than two-point-two million tons of coal last year, but Arch says it will run out of coal at the end of this month -- when the sale is expected to close.
Alpha expects the complex to produce about one million tons of coal a year after it takes over. The Abingdon, Virginia-based company also gets an agreement to sell much of the mine's production to Arch and the savings of having its own prep plant.
CEO Michael Quillen calls it a great opportunity.