TULSA, OKLAHOMA, November 6, 2015 – Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ: ARLP) announced today that in response to continued uncertainty in the coal markets, it has taken several actions to reduce production at its higher-cost mines in order to focus on maximizing production at its lower-cost mines.
Beginning last Friday, October 30, 2015, ARLP’s subsidiary, Hopkins County Coal, LLC, reduced production from three units to two units at its Elk Creek mine, which remains slated to cease production in the first quarter of 2016. This action did not result in any job loss as a result of employment opportunities at other ARLP operations.
On November 6, 2015, ARLP’s subsidiary, Gibson County Coal, LLC, issued Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notices to approximately 120 of its employees in anticipation of eliminating a total of one and a half production units at its Gibson North and Gibson South mines. By December 31, 2015, ARLP currently expects production at the Gibson South mine to be increased to four production units with the Gibson North mine idled.
On November 6, 2015, ARLP’s subsidiary, Sebree Mining, LLC, issued WARN Act notices to all employees at the Onton mine, and stopped coal production at the mine. As a result of employment opportunities at other ARLP operations, this reduction in force is expected to affect approximately 140 employees.
“Unfortunately, prolonged weak market conditions made this production response necessary,” said Joseph W. Craft III, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We deeply regret the impact of these decisions on our employees, their families and their communities. 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.”
The Onton #9 Mine has generated 2015 year-to-date coal sales and production volumes of approximately 1,861,000 tons and 1,869,000 tons, respectively. Gibson North has generated 2015 year-to-date coal sales and production volumes of approximately 1,939,000 tons and 1,983,000-ENDtons, respectively. The Elk Creek Mine has generated 2015 year-to-date coal sales and production volumes of approximately 2,537,000 tons and 2,648,000 tons, respectively.
Some of the coal production from the reductions at Onton, Gibson North, and Elk Creek will be replaced by increased production at ARLP’s lower-cost mines. ARLP confirms its previously announced earnings guidance provided in its October 27, 2015 Press Release and Conference Call, including 2015 full-year ranges for coal production of 41.1 to 41.7 million tons and coal sales volumes of 40.9 to 41.5 million tons and 2016 full-year ranges for coal production and sales volumes of 40.0 to 45.0 million tons.
ARLP is a diversified producer and marketer of coal to major United States utilities and industrial users. ARLP, the nation’s first publicly traded master limited partnership involved in the production and marketing of coal, is currently the third largest coal producer in the eastern United States with mining operations in the Illinois Basin and Appalachian coal producing regions.
ARLP currently operates eleven mining complexes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia. ARLP also operates a coal loading terminal on the Ohio River at Mount Vernon, Indiana.
News, unit prices and additional information about ARLP, including filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, are available at http://www.arlp.com. For more information, contact the investor relations department of Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. at (918) 295-7674 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.