Arch Coal

The Sugar Camp Energy complex in southern Illinois
Foresight Energy

A St. Louis-based coal company has struck a deal with bondholders of most of its $600-million debt. Foresight Energy's agreement follows months of negotiations after it was partially acquired last year by Ohio-based Murray Energy Corporation. Here's what you should know about Foresight Energy as it strives to avoid following  St. Louis-based Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, which have filed for bankruptcy protection.

The country's two largest coal mines are each laying off roughly 15 percent of their employees. Peabody Energy and Arch Coal both announced the layoffs Thursday morning. The cuts will affect roughly 235 workers at Peabody’s North Antelope Rochelle mine and 230 at Arch's Black Thunder mine.

Peabody Energy
(courtesy Peabody Energy)

St. Louis-based Peabody Energy could be headed for bankruptcy court.

In filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week Peabody said some of the company’s senior lenders are pushing the coal giant toward in-court restructuring. That comes as Peabody is trying to sell three mines to Bowie Resource Partners in a deal worth $463 million.

Peabody Energy Logo
Peabody Energy

Updated 12:49 p.m., Feb. 11 with Peabody Energy's earnings report - St. Louis-based Peabody Energy is  still speaking with creditors and is open to more asset sales as it deals with huge debt and a deep industry downturn. It is reporting a full-year loss of slightly more than $2 billion, compared to a loss of less than half that for 2014.

Chief Executive Officer Glenn Kellow says Peabody has made several moves to improve its financial picture, include selling operations in New Mexico and Colorado, but more needs to be done.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

The coal industry continues to adjust to economic realities. Peabody Energy has announced a deal to sell assets in Colorado and New Mexico, while Arch Coal is suggesting that a bankruptcy filing may be in order.  Tracking the sector can be a challenge, so we have put together a snapshot of some major players and their ties to the St. Louis region.

(via Arch Coal)

A fight over retiree health benefits landed in front of Arch Coal’s Creve Coeur headquarters Tuesday morning.

The United Mine Workers of America union argues Arch and Peabody Energy both bear responsibility for 10,000 miners’ health benefits jeopardized in another company’s bankruptcy.

St. Louis-based Patriot Coal was spun off from Peabody in 2007 and then bought a former Arch subsidiary in 2008.

The UMWA has filed suit against both Peabody and Arch in West Virginia claiming they purposely shed liabilities such as retirees’ health benefits.

Updated 4:42 p.m. with additional layoffs and information.

One of the world's largest coal producers, St. Louis-based Arch Coal, says it will lay off about 750 workers in the Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia coalfields.

It's the latest setback for an industry struggling for market share as utilities switch to cleaner and cheaper alternatives.

(via Arch Coal)

A subsidiary of St. Louis-based Arch Coal has submitted a successful bid of just over $300 million for the right to mine more than 200 million tons of coal in northeast Wyoming.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced the sale Wednesday, saying the bid by Ark Land Company met or exceeded fair market value for the coal.

The 222 million tons of coal sits beneath more than three square miles of land next to the lease boundary of the Black Thunder Mine in the Powder River Basin.

(via Arch Coal)

Updated 1:02 p.m. with company comment

Arch Coal Inc. will pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit over selenium pollution in West Virginia waterways.

The environmental groups that sued last year say the deal holds the St. Louis-based company responsible for past damage and prevents more.

Arch spokeswoman Kim Link said Monday the case involves five discharge points and subsidiaries Coal-Mac Inc. and Mingo Logan Coal Co.

She says Arch will install treatment systems and take other precautions to ensure consistent compliance with pollution limits.

(via Arch Coal)

Arch Coal says it's completed a $14.60 per share tender offer for stock in rival International Coal Group.

The offer closed Tuesday and Arch says it expects to complete the acquisition of Scott Depot-based ICG Wednesday. Arch offered to buy ICG for $3.4 billion in May.

Arch says ICG shareholders tendered nearly 188 million shares in the offer. It intends to purchase additional shares from ICG to push its ownership stake above 90 percent, enabling the deal to close.

Arch Coal has cleared a key regulatory hurdle facing its proposed $3.4 billion takeover of rival International Coal Group.

Scott Depot-based ICG and St. Louis-based Arch announced Wednesday that the the antitrust waiting period under U.S. law has expired. That satisfies one condition for the deal to close.

Arch agreed to buy ICG on May 2 and has since started a $14.60-a-share tender offer. The offer expires June 14.

(via Flickr)

Arch Coal Inc. says it's started $14.60 a share tender offer for rival International Coal Group.

Arch says the offer that started Monday expires June 14.

The St. Louis-based coal industry giant agreed to buy ICG for $3.4 billion May 2.

The deal is designed to exploit growing demand for high-priced coal used to manufacture steel. Arch says the combined companies would be the nation's second largest supplier of metallurgical coal.

Federal officials say Arch Coal will pay $4 million in fines and change some mining practices to settle alleged Clean Water Act violations in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky.

The deal announced Tuesday is between St. Louis-based Arch, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice.

(via Flickr/

In addition to the story about mining you may have heard on NPR's All Things Considered this evening, a St. Louis-based coal company, Arch Coal, is in some trouble for one of their mines in West Virginia.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making good on a 9-month-old threat and revoking a permit for West Virginia's largest mountaintop removal mine.