UPDATE 1-Peabody Energy shuts down mine in Indiana

Wed Sep 5, 2012 5:37pm IST

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Sept 5 (Reuters) - Coal miner Peabody Energy Corp said it would close a mine in Indiana as the availability of cheap natural gas depresses demand for coal used in power generation.

Soft market conditions have made operations uneconomical, Peabody said.

The company expects to incur a non-cash after-tax charge of $75 million in the current quarter due to a writedown of assets, it said.

The Air Quality mine in Vincennes, Indiana, which has 230 employees, produced 1.2 million tons in 2011. Peabody's total production was 228.9 million tons in 2011.

The miner said it was working with employees regarding placement opportunities at its other operations.

Weak prices have forced many coal companies, including Alpha Natural Resources Inc, Walter Energy Inc and Consol Energy Inc, to cut production.

Patriot Coal, which was spun off from Peabody in 2007, filed for bankruptcy protection in July.

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