Walter results suffer from production issues

DIVERSIFIED company Walter Industries announced lower than expected coal production results for the second quarter 2006 and lowered its full-year production estimates from original forecasts.

Staff Reporter

The company produced 1.2 million tons of metallurgical coal for the quarter with Mine No. 4 producing less tonnage than its historic quarterly averages, due to a longwall move and reduced production from temporary roof control issues. The reduced longwall advance rates at Mine No. 4 resulted from a thin coal seam in the initial portion of a new panel that led to difficult roof conditions.

Chairman and CEO of Walter Industries Gregory E Hyland said in mid-July that the Mine No. 4's longwall had advanced to an area of its current panel where seam thickness and roof conditions are more consistent with the company's experience in an adjacent panel. The company expects Mine No. 4 to produce approximately 1.4-1.5Mt in the second half of 2006.

The company expects full-year coal production to be in the range of 6.2-6.4Mt, which represents a reduction from prior full-year expectations of 6.7Mt. This range excludes production from the company's Kodiak Mining joint venture.

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