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Alliance to shut down Ky. coal mine Aug. 16 due to weak market conditions

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Alliance to shut down Ky. coal mine Aug. 16 due to weak market conditions

Alliance Resource Partners LP will stop producing coal from its Dotiki mine in Kentucky on Aug. 16 to focus on its lower-cost mines in the Illinois Basin, according to an Aug. 9 company release.

Alliance subsidiary Webster County Coal LLC operates the mine, which produced nearly 2.5 million tons of coal in 2018, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. The company will "engage in reclamation of equipment and infrastructure for an indeterminate time," according to the release.

The shutdown is not expected to impact the company's earnings guidance, including 2019 coal production or sales volumes, the producer said. Alliance lowered its expectations for coal production and sales volumes following the second quarter.

"Unfortunately, weak market conditions made this action necessary," Alliance CEO Joseph Craft III said in the release. "We are saddened that production will be ending at the Dotiki Mine, which was opened in 1969 and is the oldest mine operated by [Alliance]."

Peabody Energy Corp. recently announced plans to shut down an Indiana coal mine in 2019 as well. Experts expressed concern earlier this year that the Illinois Basin may be oversupplied and projected that low domestic demand and international thermal coal pricing could lead to mine closures or consolidation in the region.