Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) has announced plans to reduce production at its US mines in response to continued uncertainty in the coal markets.
The company's subsidiary, Hopkins County Coal has cut down production from three units to two units at its Elk Creek mine.
Generated 2015 year-to-date coal sales and production volumes of about 2,537,000t and 2,648,000t respectively, the mine has will stop production in the first quarter of 2016.
ARLP subsidiary Gibson County Coal has issued worker adjustment and retraining notification (WARN) act notices to about 120 of its employees expecting to eliminate a total of one and a half production units at its Gibson North and Gibson South mines.
This year, Gibson North has generated coal sales and production volumes of approximately 1,939,000t and 1,983,000t respectively.
ARLP expects production at the Gibson South mine to be increased to four production units by December end, with the Gibson North mine idled.
ARLP's subsidiary Sebree Mining also issued WARN act notices to all employees at the Onton mine, and halted coal production at the mine.
The mine has generated 2015 year-to-date coal sales and production volumes of about 1,861,000t and 1,869,000t respectively.
The reduction in force is expected to affect 140 employees.
Alliance Resource Partners president and CEO Joseph Craft III said: "While we were hopeful that conditions would improve, an oversupplied market combined with weak pricing forced us to take these actions and shift production to our lowest-cost mines.
"These steps are consistent with our current projected production and sales volumes for 2015 and beyond."
ARLP plans to replace the reduction in coal production at Onton, Gibson North and Elk Creek, with increased production at some of its lower-cost mines.
Image: The halt of coal production at Onton mine is expected to affect about 140 employees. Photo: courtesy of Suat Eman via FreeDigitalPhotos.net.