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Cloud Peak Energy Inc. Announces Results For The Third Quarter And First Nine Months Of 2012

We continue to scrutinize capital expenditures. As a result of continuing to optimize our condition monitoring maintenance programs, we are reducing our expected capital expenditures for 2012 to between $50 million and $60 million.

For 2012, Cloud Peak Energy has committed 92.4 million tons, of which 92.0 million tons are under fixed-price agreements with a weighted-average price of $13.23 per ton. Assuming current low OTC prices for our committed but unpriced 2012 tons, our weighted-average price would be $13.20 per ton for the full year 2012. We are not expecting to make any significant additional sales for delivery in 2012 and are focusing on working with our customers to ensure delivery of their committed tonnages. During the third quarter of 2012, our committed position for 2013 increased by only 3.4 million tons to 84.6 million tons due to limited activity in the markets. Of this committed 2013 production, 74.6 million tons are under fixed-price commitments with a weighted-average price of $13.58 per ton. For 2014, we currently have 54.7 million tons committed of which 43.3 million tons are under fixed-price commitments with a weighted-average price of $14.49. If the current weak pricing environment persists through the balance of this year, the expected average realized prices for 2013 are likely to be similar to 2012.

Current Newcastle forward prices for 2013 are below 2012 levels, which will reduce our 2013 export margins. Consequently, we have not yet committed pricing on our export tons beyond the first quarter of 2013, and we will expect to lock in further pricing in the coming quarters when we are hopeful prices will rise from their current low levels. Our Newcastle hedging is providing some protection against the current low prices.

Marshall said, “We are encouraged that domestic customers are now taking their committed coal, and we are receiving fewer requests for tonnage deferrals. The hot summer and the rebound in the price of natural gas have resulted in utilities sending their trains and burning their contracted coal. We are anticipating a normal winter which should continue to draw down the stockpiles of coal and move natural gas consumption to domestic and commercial heating. Given this scenario, it is still likely that it will take until at least mid-2013 for the impact of last winter on PRB prices to be worked though so we can return to a more favorable pricing environment. However, 2012 is going well and after a record third quarter, we are raising our guidance to reflect these improvements.”

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