June 30, 2010 Patriot Coal announced that due to adverse geological conditions they decided to close their Harris No 1 coal mine located in West Virginia, USA. The mine was nearing the end of its projected mining life and was scheduled for closure in 2011. It also entered into an agreement to surrender their rights to non-strategic leased coal reserves and the associated mining permits at their Rocklick mining complex in exchange for the release of the related reclamation obligations. In March 2010, the company received approximately 13 million tons of coal mineral rights contiguous to their Highland mining complex in the Illinois Basin in exchange for non-strategic Illinois Basin coal reserves. In the second quarter of 2010, the company entered into two separate agreements with other coal producers to exchange certain of their non-strategic coal mineral rights for certain of their coal mineral rights located near our Wells and Corridor G mining complexes.
December 31, 2008 Patriot Coal reported that operations at the Harris No. 1 mine utilized the longwall mining method through the second quarter of 2008, but switched to continuous miner methods to deplete its final reserves. Due to the recent economic recession and significant reduction in steel production, operations at the Black Oak mine will be suspended in the first quarter of 2009 until demand increases for metallurgical coal.