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Arch operation in W.Va. begins longwall mining

GRAFTON, W.Va. (AP) - Arch Coal Inc. says longwall mining is underway at its Leer mine in northern West Virginia.

St. Louis-based Arch said Tuesday that the longwall system's startup is a milestone in the company's development of the Leer Mining Complex in Taylor County.

Arch says in a news release that the mine is expected to produce more than 3 million tons of metallurgical coal on an annualized basis. Most of the coal will be sold for steel production.

President and CEO John W. Eaves says in the release that the mine is poised to become a cornerstone of the company's operations in Appalachia.

Arch acquired the mine when it bought International Coal Group in 2011. The company says it has invested more than $400 million to develop the mine.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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