In Brief

PEABODY prepays debt; Joy posts dividend; Arch’s imminent danger; and Cliffs idles mines.

Noel Dyson

Peabody prepays

Peabody Energy has voluntarily prepaid $75 million of term loan borrowings, bringing year to date debt repayments to more than $380 million.

The company also amended its 2010 credit facility and 2011 term loan facility to increase financial flexibility by temporarily expanding its maximum leverage ratio covenant through 2014.

The covenant ratio has been expanded to accommodate the effects of any near-term market challenges the company may face based on macroeconomic conditions.

Joy’s dividend

Joy Global has declared a quarterly dividend of 17.5c a share.

The dividend will be paid on December 18 to shareholders on its register on December 4.

Arch’s imminent danger

Failing to support a counterweight during maintenance work has earned Arch Coal subsidiary Thunder Basin Coal Company an imminent danger order.

Mine personnel took immediate corrective action and the order was terminated.

Imminent danger orders are issued under section 107(a) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act.

Steel warning

Cliffs Natural Resources has announced a delay to portions of its Bloom Lake mine phase II expansion in Quebec and the idling of a portion of its production at two of its iron ore mines.

The company cites iron ore pricing volatility and lower North American steelmaking utilization rates.

It bodes ill for some metallurgical coal producers which may face similar challenges.

The company is cutting production at Northshore Mining in Minnesota and Empire mine in Michigan.

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