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Arch announces smaller profits, production

Skyline Mine, operated by Canyon Fuels Inc. (Arch Coal) is a fixture in Eccles Canyon above Scofield. The mine is one of three mines owned by Arch in Utah, and between the three they produce 60 percent of the coal in the state.

By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

Arch Coal Inc. reported last week that fourth-quarter profit dropped sharply as the coal market softens during a weak economy and reports that climate legislation could take some of the zing out of the black minerals low cost energy production.

The company owns mines across the country that provides coal that generates approximately 6 percent of the power in the United States. Presently the company owns three mines in Utah that produce 60 percent of the coal brought out of the ground in the state. Arch operates as Canyon Fuel Inc. in the Beehive State and that company runs the Sufco Mine (Sevier County), as well as the Skyline Mine and Dugout Canyon Mine in Carbon County. The company employes nearly 800 people within the states boundaries.

The announcement missed previous estimates for profits and sent the mining companies stock down 9 percent. The company, which is based in St. Louis, Mo. said the overall revenue was also down sliding from 2008's almost $730 million to $725 million. But while profits were down, the company still made money.

Last year the company received the Earth Day Award from the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining for the way operations are conducted in the state.

The company produced about 14 million tons of coal last year, according the the Utah Geological Survey. Overall the state put out 24 million tons from mines primarily that are located in central and eastern Utah.

The company said that the regional operation put out about 20 percent less coal last year (that includes the West Elk Mine in Colorado as well).

While the Utah operations produce a lot of coal for the company their production pales when compared against the holdings the company has in Wyoming where mines put out near 100 million tons of coal each year.




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