ST. LOUIS, Nov. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Big Ridge, Inc. today announced it will permanently close the Willow Lake Mine near Harrisburg, Ill. The mine has failed to meet acceptable standards for safety, compliance and operating performance, and these ongoing issues make the operations unsustainable.
Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) letters are being provided to approximately 400 employees. Willow Lake sold 2.2 million tons in 2011.
Peabody expects to incur a largely non-cash, one-time charge estimated at $40 to $60 million ( $0.10 to $0.15 per share after tax) in the fourth quarter primarily to write off assets, increase asset retirement obligations and accrue severance. The company expects little effect on ongoing earnings from the closing.Peabody Energy is the world's largest private-sector coal company and a global leader in sustainable mining and clean coal solutions. The company serves metallurgical and thermal coal customers in more than 25 countries on six continents. For further information, go to PeabodyEnergy.com and CoalCanDoThat.com. The use of the words "Peabody," "the company" and "our" relate to Peabody, our subsidiaries and our majority-owned affiliates. Peabody Energy Forward Looking Statement Certain statements in this press release are forward looking as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions that the company believes are reasonable, but they are open to a wide range of uncertainties and business risks that may cause actual results to differ materially from expectations as of Nov. 27, 2012. These factors are difficult to accurately predict and may be beyond the company's control. The company does not undertake to update its forward-looking statements. Factors that could affect the company's results include, but are not limited to: global demand for coal, including the seaborne thermal and metallurgical coal markets; price volatility, particularly in higher-margin products and in our trading and brokerage businesses; impact of alternative energy sources, including natural gas and renewables; impact of weather and natural disasters on demand, production and transportation; reductions and/or deferrals of purchases by major customers and ability to renew sales contracts; credit and performance risks associated with customers, suppliers, co-shippers, trading, banks and other financial counterparties; geologic, equipment, permitting and operational risks related to mining; transportation availability, performance and costs; availability, timing of delivery and costs of key supplies, capital equipment or commodities such as diesel fuel, steel, explosives and tires; integration of the newly acquired Macarthur Coal operations; successful implementation of business strategies; negotiation of labor contracts, employee relations and workforce availability; changes in postretirement benefit and pension obligations and funding requirements; replacement and development of coal reserves; access to capital and credit markets and availability and costs of credit, margin capacity, surety bonds, letters of credit, and insurance; effects of changes in interest rates and currency exchange rates (primarily the Australian dollar); effects of acquisitions or divestitures; economic strength and political stability of countries in which we have operations or serve customers; legislation, regulations and court decisions or other government actions, including new environmental and mine safety requirements; changes in income tax regulations or other regulatory taxes; litigation, including claims not yet asserted; and other risks detailed in the company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). CONTACT: Beth Sutton(928) 522-7008 SOURCE Peabody Energy