The coal producer also cited regular disruptions and reduced work hours caused by the winter holidays as reasons for the deficit.
Produced coal revenues for the quarter were $310.7 million, a decrease of 9% from $343.2 million for the comparable 2002 period.
The third quarter 2003 loss included the $21 million recovery of a property and business interruption insurance claim related to the October 2000 slurry spill at its Martin County Coal subsidiary.
"We reported financial results for the quarter at the upper end of our revised projections due to improved operating performance in the second half of the quarter," said Massey CEO Don Blankenship.
"We were also pleased to see utility demand for coal continue to escalate throughout the quarter. Since our last earnings release, we contracted an additional 12 million tons of coal for 2004 delivery at attractive prices," he said.
Massey experienced a difficult period throughout July and early August caused by a variety of shipping and operations issues.
The Company reported that overall longwall production has improved and that production at many of its other underground mines was running at or near budget in September and in the first half of October.
Massey set sales projects at 41 to 42 million tons in 2003, at an expected average sales price of between $30.50 and $31.00 per ton.