Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF: Quote) said Friday it is cutting full year 2012 thermal coal sales and production volume outlook from 1.1 million tons to about 800,000 tons at its Toney Fork No. 2 surface mine in Man, WV.
Cliffs said the adjustment is driven by a softer U.S. pricing environment for thermal coal products. The decreased volumes will result in the reduction of 46 hourly positions at the mining operation along with 13 salaried positions within the company's administrative offices, effective June 15, 2012, it said.
"Thermal coal usage for power generation has declined sharply, driven by the extremely mild winter and historically low natural gas prices," said David Webb, Cliffs' senior vice president of Global Coal Operations.
"Therefore, Cliffs is announcing today that production at Toney Fork will be reduced to a level that will satisfy our existing supply agreements and customer requirements. Unfortunately, this decision will affect a number of our employees."
The company maintains full year 2012 expected North American metallurgical coal sales at 6 million tons and production volumes at 5.5 million tons.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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