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Armstrong Coal, a subsidiary of Armstrong Energy, is installing the first full fleet of Caterpillar (Cat) room-and-pillar coal mining equipment at its new Lewis Creek underground mine in Kentucky.

Armstrong secured 24 machines from Whayne Supply, a dealer in Cat equipment.

The fleet comprises four Cat CM235 Continuous Miners with face haulers, roof bolters, scoops and feeder breakers.

Lewis Creek mine underground mine Superintendent Rickie Philips commented, "Caterpillar has a reputation for being a leader in the industry; so when they went underground, we thought it would be a good thing to be part of.

"We know that Caterpillar will back us all the way. They have a stake in this as much as we do."

Whayne Supply president and CEO Monty Boyd added, "We sold 80 pieces of surface mining equipment to Armstrong as they started their business in Western Kentucky."

"That’s quite a trusting venture, and I believe they’re putting that same type of trust in us by taking the first full fleet of Cat underground equipment."

Final delivery of the new equipment is expected to complete in early 2013 and will be put into service as it arrives.

Lewis Creek mines the 50-inch thick West Kentucky No. 9 Seam. Targeted sales of clean coal from the mine are 800,000 to 900,000 tons annually.

Image: Caterpillar’s equipment will assist coal production at the Lewis Creek underground mine in Kentucky. Photo: Caterpillar.