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Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. Announces Agreement to Acquire Illinois Basin Coal Assets

TULSA, Okla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 24, 2012-- Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ: ARLP) today announced that Alliance Coal, LLC (“Alliance Coal”), its wholly-owned subsidiary, has entered into a definitive agreement with Green River Collieries, LLC (“Green River”) to acquire substantially all of its coal-related assets located in Webster and Hopkins Counties, Kentucky. The transaction includes the Onton No. 9 mining complex and an estimated 40.0 million tons of coal reserves in the West Kentucky No. 9 coal seam.

ARLP currently anticipates consummation of the proposed transaction following the completion by Green River of certain closing requirements.

“Strategically the acquisition of Green River further expands our presence and enhances ARLP’s existing operating platform in the growing Illinois Basin coal market,” said Joseph W. Craft III, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The Onton No. 9 mine is an attractive addition to our current operations in western Kentucky and provides ARLP with increased flexibility to service our existing customer base. We look forward to welcoming Green River’s employees and management to the Alliance team.”

The Onton No. 9 mine is an underground mining complex which uses three continuous mining units employing room-and-pillar mining techniques. The mine currently produces annually an estimated 2.1 million tons of coal and employs approximately 315 workers. Green River is in the process of completing an air shaft which would allow the addition of a fourth continuous mining unit should market conditions warrant increased production from the mine. Essentially all of the planned 2012 production from the mine is committed and priced under Green River contracts with existing ARLP customers.

This announcement is intended to be a qualified notice under Treasury Regulation Section 1.1446-4(b), with 100% of the partnership’s distributions to foreign investors attributable to income that is effectively connected with a United States trade or business. Accordingly, ARLP’s distributions to foreign investors are subject to federal income tax withholding at the highest applicable tax rate.

About Alliance Resource Partners, L.P.

ARLP is a diversified producer and marketer of coal to major United States utilities and industrial users. ARLP, the nation's first publicly traded master limited partnership involved in the production and marketing of coal, is currently the third largest coal producer in the eastern United States with mining operations in the Illinois Basin, Northern Appalachian and Central Appalachian coal producing regions. ARLP operates ten mining complexes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia, including a new mining complex in West Virginia. ARLP is also constructing a new mine in southern Indiana and is purchasing and funding development of reserves, constructing surface facilities and making equity investments in a new mining complex in southern Illinois. In addition, ARLP operates a coal loading terminal on the Ohio River at Mount Vernon, Indiana.

News, unit prices and additional information about ARLP, including filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, are available at http://www.arlp.com. For more information, contact the investor relations department of ARLP at (918) 295-7674 or via e-mail at investorrelations@arlp.com.

The statements and projections used throughout this release are based on current expectations. These statements and projections are forward-looking, and actual results may differ materially. These projections do not include the potential impact of any mergers, acquisitions or other business combinations that may occur after the date of this release. At the end of this release, we have included more information regarding business risks that could affect our results.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: With the exception of historical matters, any matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from projected results. These risks, uncertainties and contingencies include, but are not limited to, the following: changes in competition in coal markets and our ability to respond to such changes; changes in coal prices, which could affect our operating results and cash flows; risks associated with the expansion of our operations and properties; the impact of recent health care legislation; deregulation of the electric utility industry or the effects of any adverse change in the coal industry, electric utility industry, or general economic conditions; dependence on significant customer contracts, including renewing customer contracts upon expiration of existing contracts; changing global economic conditions or in industries in which our customers operate; liquidity constraints, including those resulting from any future unavailability of financing; customer bankruptcies, cancellations or breaches to existing contracts, or other failures to perform; customer delays, failure to take coal under contracts or defaults in making payments; adjustments made in price, volume or terms to existing coal supply agreements; fluctuations in coal demand, prices and availability due to labor and transportation costs and disruptions, equipment availability, governmental regulations, including those related to carbon dioxide emissions, and other factors; legislation, regulatory and court decisions and interpretations thereof, including issues related to climate change and miner health and safety; our productivity levels and margins earned on our coal sales; unexpected changes in raw material costs; unexpected changes in the availability of skilled labor; our ability to maintain satisfactory relations with our employees; any unanticipated increases in labor costs, adverse changes in work rules, or unexpected cash payments or projections associated with post-mine reclamation and workers′ compensation claims; any unanticipated increases in transportation costs and risk of transportation delays or interruptions; greater than expected environmental regulation, costs and liabilities; a variety of operational, geologic, permitting, labor and weather-related factors; risks associated with major mine-related accidents, such as mine fires, or interruptions; results of litigation, including claims not yet asserted; difficulty maintaining our surety bonds for mine reclamation as well as workers′ compensation and black lung benefits; difficulty in making accurate assumptions and projections regarding pension, black lung benefits and other post-retirement benefit liabilities; coal market's share of electricity generation, including as a result of environmental concerns related to coal mining and combustion and the cost and perceived benefits of alternative sources of energy, such as natural gas, nuclear energy and renewable fuels; uncertainties in estimating and replacing our coal reserves; a loss or reduction of benefits from certain tax credits; and, difficulty obtaining commercial property insurance, and risks associated with our participation (excluding any applicable deductible) in the commercial insurance property program.

Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in ARLP’s public periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including ARLP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, filed on February 28, 2011 with the SEC. Except as required by applicable securities laws, ARLP does not intend to update its forward-looking statements.

Source: Alliance Resource Partners, L.P.

Alliance Resource Partners, L.P.
Brian L. Cantrell, 918-295-7673