Washington, D.C. 20549

                                    FORM 8-K

                                 CURRENT REPORT

                     Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the
                         Securities Exchange Act of 1934

Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported): July 16, 2004 (July 15, 2004)

                                 Arch Coal, Inc.
             (Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

        Delaware                        1-13105                43-0921172
-----------------------------   ---------------------------    ----------
(State or other jurisdiction     (Commission File Number)   (I.R.S. Employer
    of incorporation)                                       Identification No.)

            One CityPlace Drive, Suite 300, St. Louis, Missouri 63141
               (Address of principal executive offices) (Zip code)

       Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (314) 994-2700

                               Page 1 of 4 pages.
                         Exhibit Index begins on page 4.

Item 5. Other  Events.

     On July 15, 2004,  Arch Coal,  Inc.  (the  "Company"),  announced via press
release   that  it  had  signed  a  definitive   agreement  to  acquire   Itochu
Corporation's  35% interest in Canyon Fuel Company,  LLC for a purchase price of
approximately  $112 million.  A copy of the Company's  press release is attached
hereto and incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

Item 7.  Exhibits.

         (c) The following Exhibit is filed with this Current Report on Form

           Exhibit No.               Description
             99                      Press Release dated as of July 15, 2004

                               Page 2 of 4 pages.
                         Exhibit Index begins on page 4.


     Pursuant to the  requirements  of the Securities  Exchange Act of 1934, the
registrant  has duly  caused  this  report  to be  signed  on its  behalf by the
undersigned hereunto duly authorized.

Dated:  July 16, 2004                       ARCH COAL, INC.

                                            By: /s/ Janet L. Horgan
                                             Janet L. Horgan
                                             Assistant General Counsel and
                                               Assistant Secretary

                               Page 3 of 4 pages.
                         Exhibit Index begins on page 4.

                                  EXHIBIT INDEX

Exhibit No.                 Description
-----------                ------------
   99                      Press Release dated as of July 15, 2004

                               Page 4 of 4 pages.

                                                                     Exhibit 99
News from
Arch Coal, Inc.
                                                        FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

                                                                   Deck Slone
                                                       Vice President, Investor
                                                   Relations and Public Affairs
                                                                 (314) 994-2717

                                                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                                 July 15, 2004

           Arch Acquires Remaining 35% Interest in Canyon Fuel Company

     ST. LOUIS (July 15,  2004) - Arch Coal,  Inc.  announced  today that it has
signed a definitive  agreement to acquire Itochu  Corporation's  35% interest in
Canyon Fuel Company, LLC for a contract price of $112 million. (Per the attached
schedule,  the present  value of the purchase  price less cash  received  totals
approximately $98 million.) With the completion of this transaction, Canyon Fuel
will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Arch Coal.

     "This  acquisition  will  solidify  our  position as a leading  producer of
high-Btu,  low-sulfur  western  bituminous  coal," said  Steven F. Leer,  Arch's
president and chief executive  officer.  "Demand for such coal has  strengthened
significantly  in recent months.  Through the planned  integration of the Canyon
Fuel  operations and our West Elk mine in Colorado,  we will further enhance our
ability to supply this growing segment of the marketplace."

     Canyon Fuel owns and operates two longwall  mines in Utah - Sufco in Sevier
County and Dugout  Canyon in Carbon  County.  In addition,  the company owns the
currently idle Skyline mine,  which also is located in Carbon County.  In total,
Canyon Fuel controls approximately 161 million tons of high-quality,  low-sulfur
coal reserves in Utah. In 2003, Canyon Fuel produced  approximately 13.0 million
tons of coal. Pro forma net income for 2003 - combining  Arch's 65% interest and
Itochu's 35% interest and excluding the cumulative effect of accounting change -
would have totaled $26.4 million.  Pro forma EBITDA totaled  approximately $62.3
million  in 2003.  (EBITDA  is  defined  as  earnings  before  interest,  taxes,
depreciation, amortization and the cumulative effect of accounting change.)

     The  acquisition  is expected to be  accretive  to EBITDA  immediately  and
accretive to earnings  within 12 months.  The transaction is expected to have an
increasingly  positive impact on earnings as existing sales contracts expire and
additional  tons  become   available  for  sale  into  a  much-improved   market

     "While  Itochu  has  been  an  excellent  partner,  we  believe  that  this
transaction will enable Arch to create still greater value with these strategic,
high-quality  assets," Leer said. "Upon  completion of the transaction,  we will
act  immediately  to  integrate  our  western  bituminous  operations  under the
direction  of a single  management  team,  which  should  enhance our ability to
operate  these  mines  in the most  cost-effective  manner,  enable  us to react
quickly to opportunities in the marketplace,  and provide our customers with the
best possible  service." The new structure should lead to reduced overhead costs
and other operating synergies, according to Leer.

     "As the only company with a leading  position in each of the nation's three
principal  low-sulfur  coal  basins,  Arch is  uniquely  equipped  to serve  the
nation's  growing demand for the cleanest  burning  coals," Leer said.  "Western
bituminous coal is becoming an increasingly  important  source of Btu's for many
U.S. power plants,  and we view our  production  and strong reserve  position in
this region as an excellent  complement  to our  operations  in the Powder River
Basin and Central Appalachia."

     As a wholly owned  subsidiary of Arch Coal,  Canyon Fuel's results now will
be consolidated  in Arch's  financial  statements.  This  simplification  of the
reporting process should translate into a better appreciation for the true value
of the Canyon Fuel operations, Leer noted.

     Consummation of the transaction is conditioned upon obtaining all necessary
governmental  and  regulatory  consents  and  other  customary  conditions.  The
transaction is expected to close during the third quarter.

     St. Louis-based Arch Coal is one of the nation's largest coal producers and
mines  low-sulfur coal  exclusively.  Through its subsidiary  operations in West
Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, Arch provides the fuel
for approximately 6 percent of the electricity generated in the United States.

                                      # # #

Forward-Looking Statements: Statements in this press release which are not
statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements within the "safe
harbor" provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These
forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to, and
expectations and assumptions deemed reasonable by, the company. Because these
forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties,
actual results may differ materially from those projected in the statements.
These expectations, assumptions and uncertainties include: the company's ability
to consummate the acquisition of the remaining interest in Canyon Fuel;
expectation of continued growth in the demand for electricity; belief that
legislation and regulations relating to the Clean Air Act and the relatively
higher costs of competing fuels will increase demand for its compliance and
low-sulfur coal; expectation of continued improved market conditions for the
price of coal; expectation that the company will continue to have adequate
liquidity from its cash flow from operations, together with available borrowings
under its credit facilities, to finance the company's working capital needs; a
variety of operational, geologic, permitting, labor and weather related factors;
and the other risks and uncertainties which are described from time to time in
the company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 Additional Financial Information
(in millions)                                Financed With
                                       Cash           Note            Total
   Contract price                      $90.0          $22.0           $112.0
   Discount to bring non-interest
      bearing note* to present value       -           (3.8)            (3.8)
   Cash acquired                        (9.8)             -             (9.8)
                                      -----------   -----------      ----------

   Net purchase price                  $80.2          $18.2            $98.4

* $22 million note payable to seller over five years, discounted to present
    value at 7%