ABINGDON, Va., Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE: ANR), a leading U.S. coal producer, today updated its full year 2011 shipment guidance to a range of 102.5 million tons to 109.5 million tons compared to the previous range of 104 million tons to 112 million tons. The decrease is primarily attributable to four factors: reduced metallurgical export shipments to Asia due to unexpectedly curtailed customer activity levels; a force majeure notice from an export metallurgical customer; lower than expected production from the Emerald longwall mine; and lower than expected production volumes from certain legacy Massey mines in Central Appalachia.
Alpha now anticipates 2011 Eastern metallurgical coal shipments should range from 18.5 million tons to 20.5 million tons, compared to the previous range of 19.0 million tons to 21.0 million tons. Shipments of Eastern thermal coal are now expected to range from 36.0 million tons to 39.0 million tons, compared to the previous range of 37.0 million tons to 41.0 million tons. Shipment guidance for Alpha's Western operations in the Powder River Basin remains unchanged. The majority of the reduction in Alpha's Eastern metallurgical coal shipment guidance range and approximately half of the reduction in Alpha's Eastern thermal coal shipment range are related to shipment levels achieved in July and August of 2011, with the remainder spread throughout the balance of the year.
Primarily as a result of reduced production and shipment forecasts, Alpha now expects that its adjusted Eastern cost of coal sales per ton for 2011 should range from $73 to $76 excluding the influence of merger-related expenses, with higher adjusted cost of coal sales during the third quarter in the range of $77 to $79 per ton, declining as volumes lift in the fourth quarter. Guidance for the Western cost of coal sales per ton for 2011 remains unchanged. Alpha is currently reviewing its 2012 estimates and global market conditions. In conjunction with Alpha's annual budgeting process, the Company plans to refine its 2012 outlook, as appropriate, when the company reports its third quarter 2011 financial results.
About Alpha Natural Resources
Alpha Natural Resources is one of America's premier coal suppliers with coal production capacity of greater than 120 million tons a year. Alpha is the nation's leading supplier and exporter of metallurgical coal used in the steel-making process and is a major supplier of thermal coal to electric utilities and manufacturing industries across the country. The Company, through its affiliates, employs approximately 14,000 people and operates more than 150 mines and 40 coal preparation facilities in Appalachia and the Powder River Basin. More information about Alpha can be found on the Company's Web site at www.alphanr.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This news release includes forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on Alpha's expectations and beliefs concerning future events and involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations. These factors are difficult to predict accurately and may be beyond Alpha's control. The following factors are among those that may cause actual results to differ materially from our forward-looking statements:
These and other risks and uncertainties are discussed in greater detail in Alpha's and Massey's Annual Reports on Form 10-K and other documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements in this news release or elsewhere speak only as of the date made. New uncertainties and risks come up from time to time, and it is impossible for Alpha to predict these events or how they may affect the Company. Alpha has no duty to, and does not intend to, update or revise the forward-looking statements in this news release after the date it is issued. In light of these risks and uncertainties, investors should keep in mind that the results, events or developments disclosed in any forward-looking statement made in this news release may not occur.
SOURCE Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.