ST. LOUIS, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Patriot Coal Corporation (OTC: PCXCQ) today announced that it has reached a proposed settlement agreement with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Inc., the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Inc. and the Sierra Club regarding claims under the Clean Water Act relating to surface mining activities in West Virginia.
As a result of the proposed settlement, the deadline for compliance with selenium effluent limitations at outfalls under the Hobet 22 permit will be extended from May 2013 until August 2014. Additionally, compliance schedules under the global consent decree announced in January 2012 will be extended by 12 months. In exchange, Patriot will agree to certain restrictions on large-scale surface mining activities.
"This settlement agreement allows Patriot to defer up to $27 million of compliance-related cash outlays from 2012 and 2013 into 2014 and beyond, which improves our liquidity as we reorganize our company and increases the likelihood that we will emerge from the Chapter 11 process as a viable business," stated Patriot President & Chief Executive Officer Bennett K. Hatfield. "Importantly, this proposed settlement allows Patriot to continue mining according to existing permits and is consistent with our long-term business plan to focus capital on expanding higher-margin metallurgical coal production and limiting thermal coal investments to selective opportunities where geologic and regulatory risks are minimized."
The settlement remains subject to approval by the Federal District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia following a public comment period, as well as approval by the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
About Patriot Coal
Patriot Coal Corporation is a producer and marketer of coal in the eastern United States, with 12 active mining complexes in Appalachia and the Illinois Basin. Patriot ships to domestic and international electricity generators, industrial users and metallurgical coal customers, and controls approximately 1.9 billion tons of proven and probable coal reserves.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that may be beyond our control and may cause our actual future results to differ materially from our current expectations both in connection with the Chapter 11 filings Patriot announced on July 9, 2012 and our business and financial prospects. No assurance can be made that these events will come to fruition. We undertake no obligation (and expressly disclaim any such obligation) to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Factors that could affect our results include, but are not limited to: (i) the ability of Patriot and its subsidiaries to continue as a going concern, (ii) the ability of Patriot and its subsidiaries to operate within the restrictions and liquidity limitations of the post-petition credit facilities authorized by the Bankruptcy Court, (iii) the ability of Patriot and its subsidiaries to obtain Bankruptcy Court approval with respect to motions in the Chapter 11 cases, (iv) the ability of Patriot and its subsidiaries to successfully complete a reorganization under Chapter 11 and emerge from bankruptcy, which is dependent upon, among other things, the ability to implement changes to wage and benefit programs and postretirement benefit obligations consensually or pursuant to Sections 1113 and 1114 of the Bankruptcy Code, to minimize liabilities upon emergence and to obtain post-bankruptcy financing, (v) the effects of the bankruptcy filing on Patriot and its subsidiaries and the interests of various creditors, equity holders and other constituents, (vi) Bankruptcy Court rulings in the Chapter 11 cases and the outcome of the cases in general, (vii) the length of time Patriot and its subsidiaries will operate under the Chapter 11 cases, (viii) risks associated with third-party motions in the Chapter 11 cases, which may interfere with the ability of Patriot and its subsidiaries to develop one or more plans of reorganization and consummate such plans once they are developed, (ix) the potential adverse effects of the Chapter 11 proceedings on Patriot's liquidity or results of operations, (x) the ability to execute Patriot's business and restructuring plans, (xi) increased legal costs related to Patriot's bankruptcy filing and other litigation, and (xii) the ability of Patriot and its subsidiaries to maintain contracts that are critical to their operation, including to obtain and maintain normal terms with their vendors, customers, landlords and service providers and to retain key executives, managers and employees. In the event that the risks disclosed in Patriot's public filings and those discussed above cause results to differ materially from those expressed in Patriot's forward-looking statements, Patriot's business, financial condition, results of operations or liquidity, and the interests of creditors, equity holders and other constituents, could be materially adversely affected. For additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to materially differ from those projected herein, please refer to Patriot's Form 10-K and Form 10-Q reports.
SOURCE Patriot Coal Corporation
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