Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. announced that the board of directors of its managing general partner has approved the opening of a new mine for the immediate development of ARLP’s Tunnel Ridge reserves. The Tunnel Ridge reserve area encompasses approximately 9,400 acres of land located in Ohio County, West Virginia and Washington County, Pennsylvania and includes approximately 70.5 million tons of high-sulfur coal in the Pittsburgh No. 8 coal seam. ARLP will develop Tunnel Ridge as an underground longwall mining complex employing as many as 300 workers by the end of 2010.
“ARLP has secured coal sales commitments for 30 million tons over 10 years to support the opening of the Tunnel Ridge mine and is experiencing strong interest from other customers for the remaining production from this operation,” said Joseph W. Craft III, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The decision to open the Tunnel Ridge mine enhances ARLP’s position in the strategically important Northern Appalachia region and compliments our continued growth in the Illinois Basin region.”
ARLP currently expects to begin longwall mining operations at Tunnel Ridge during the second half of 2010 and anticipates total coal sales from the mine that year in a range of approximately 1.5 to 3.0 million tons. Coal sales from Tunnel Ridge are expected to increase to a range of approximately 5.0 to 5.5 million tons in 2011 and 5.5 to 6.0 million tons in 2012. Total capital expenditures to develop the Tunnel Ridge mining complex are currently estimated in the range of approximately $265.0 to $285.0 million, excluding capitalized development and interest costs, over the 2008-2010 time frame. ARLP is increasing its estimated 2008 capital expenditures to a range of $220.0 to $240.0 million to include newly authorized capital for the development of its Tunnel Ridge mine.
ARLP is a diversified producer and marketer of coal to major United States utilities and industrial users. ARLP, the nation’s only publicly traded master limited partnership involved in the production and marketing of coal, is currently the fourth largest coal producer in the eastern United States with operations in all major eastern coalfields. ARLP currently operates eight underground mining complexes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia and a coal loading terminal on the Ohio River at Mt. Vernon, Indiana. ARLP is also constructing the River View mining complex in Kentucky and the Tunnel Ridge mining complex in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
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 ARLP at 918-295-7674 or via e-mail at email@example.com.