NEW YORK Metallurgical
and thermal coal producer James River Coal Co. has idled or
closed 3 million tons of production capacity in response to
soft demand, the company said.
The Richmond, Va.-based company
has idled five underground mines and reduced production at
three surface mines in the central Appalachia region, the
"The year 2012 will be
remembered as one of the most difficult years in the history of
the U.S. coal industry," chairman and chief executive officer
Peter T. Socha said, citing lackluster economic conditions,
competitive pressures from natural gas and weak international
markets in Asia and Europe.
The company reported a net loss
of $138.9 million in 2012, more than triple the net loss of
$39.1 million in 2011, on revenue that fell 6.6 percent to $1.1
billion from $1.2 billion. The 2012 net loss included a
goodwill impairment charge of $26.5 million, the company
Adjusted earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) totaled
$54.7 million in 2012, down 64.6 percent from $154.6 million in
James River has cut operating
costs by reducing its work force by 400 and trimming working
However, not all the news was
"As we look ahead to 2013, both
(Asia and Europe) are showing marginal improvement," Socha
said. "The thermal market, although still weak, is starting to
improve due to reduced production by the coal industry and
slightly better weather conditions. The met coal market is
seeing clear signs of increased demand from Asia."
A version of this article was first published by AMM
sister publication Steel First.