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May 13, 2009


A coal producer with three mines in Indiana County has merged with another coal company to form the nation’s third-largest coal company.

Alpha Natural Resources, the parent company of Amfire Mining, has acquired Foundation Coal Holdings, a producer of metallurgical coal, which also has substantial mining operations in Pennsylvania.

Alpha Natural Resources is based in Abingdon, Virginia. Amfire is based in Latrobe, and operates the Ondo Extension Mine, Nolo Mine, and Gillhouser Run Mine in Indiana County. In all, Amfire has five underground mines and thirteen surface mines in the western half of the state.

The total transaction, including Alpha’s acquisition of $530 million of Foundation’s debt, is valued at $2 billion. Alpha will own 59 coal mines and 14 coal preparation plants, with reserves of more than 2.3 billion tons of coal.

Industry insiders say the merger will be just the first of a number of mergers announced in the coal industry, with Consol Energy the next one to possibly make a move.

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