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Company officials said the company spent those six weeks evaluating customer needs as the threat of the virus grew. While the idling is currently scheduled to extend through April 15, Alliance may adjust that timeline based again on customers' business needs.
"As the year progresses, coal production at all of our operations will be further modified to match existing sales commitments of approximately 28 million tons [25.4 million tonnes] for 2020," the company said.
It has also withdrawn its whole-year operating and financial guidance released in late January.
Alliance chairman, president and CEO Joseph W. Craft III stressed that its domestic sales - about 75% of it - were targeted at US states dependent on coal for electricity generation.
"As serious as the disruption caused by the virus has been to the citizens of these states, imagine the impact if our miners didn't show up every day to ensure the reliable supply of this essential fuel necessary to keep the lights on," he noted.
"We remain in constant contact with our customers and stand ready to meet their needs for this essential fuel."
Craft added that, despite the guidance suspension, he anticipated Alliance would see sales tons for 2020 at about 25% lower levels that it previously outlined.
ARLP produces coal from seven mining complexes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia; it also operates a coal-loading terminal on the Ohio River at Mount Vernon, Indiana.