CONSOL Energy Inc. announced that it will idle its southwest Virginia Buchanan Mine longwall mining unit and reduce its continuous mining operating schedule to five days per week.
CONSOL Energy is responding to market conditions primarily as a result of increased inventories and decreased international demand for its metallurgical coal. It is not known how long the Buchanan longwall mining operations will be idled, however CONSOL Energy expects production to be reduced by approximately 295,000 tons per month on this reduced schedule.
CONSOL Energy is updating its sales guidance for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012 as follows: Low-Vol and High-Vol Met coal sales remain approximately 1.0 million tons each; thermal coal sales are expected to be a few hundred thousand tons below its prior guidance of 13.2 million tons. CONSOL Energy will update its full year production and sales guidance for 2012 at a later date.
The company will continue to monitor market demand and respond accordingly.
This action involves no layoffs, however most overtime and other non-essential work may be postponed until resumption of normal operations. The Buchanan Mine will continue to work on Safety and Compliance. Buchanan Mine has 778 total employees, who were officially briefed on the situation.