SOURCE: Walter Energy

Walter Energy

May 09, 2011 08:00 ET

Walter Energy Completes Transactions With Chevron Mining

Leases 75 Million Tons of Blue Creek Coking Coal Reserves

Jim Walter Resources Acquires North River Steam Coal Mine

TAMPA, FL--(Marketwire - May 9, 2011) - Walter Energy (NYSE: WLT) (TSX: WLT), the world's leading, publicly traded "pure play" producer of metallurgical coal for the global steel industry, announced today the execution of mineral leases for approximately 75 million tons of recoverable Blue Creek coking coal reserves in Tuscaloosa County, Ala. from a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) ("Chevron"). Terms of the leases include royalty rates consistent with existing coal lease agreements.

"We are happy with the opportunities these leases present to grow our reserve base and expand our footprint in Alabama," said Keith Calder, chief executive officer of Walter Energy. "These reserves are an integral portion of the last remaining block of Blue Creek coal reserves and pave the way for a strategic opportunity to assemble approximately 170 million tons of high quality coking coal reserves for the development of a new underground longwall coking coal mine."

The Company also announced the completion of Jim Walter Resources' acquisition of Chevron's North River steam coal mine in Fayette County and Tuscaloosa County, Ala. Total consideration for the purchase of the North River mine included a small cash payment and the assumption of certain liabilities, not material to the Company. The transaction is expected to be neutral to slightly accretive to earnings in the first year.

"The North River steam coal mine has approximately three years of production remaining, all of which is under contract to local utilities," Calder added. "Importantly, the operation has approximately 350 skilled and experienced miners, whom we'll be very happy to welcome into the Walter Energy Alabama team."

About Walter Energy

Walter Energy is the world's leading, publicly traded "pure play" metallurgical coal producer for the global steel industry. The Company also produces steam coal and industrial coal, anthracite, metallurgical coke and coal bed methane gas. The Company has strategic access to high-growth steel markets in Asia, South America and Europe. Walter Energy had 2010 pro forma revenues of approximately $2.3 billion and employs approximately 4,000 employees and contractors with operations in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom. For more information about Walter Energy, please visit the company website at

Safe Harbor Statement

Except for historical information contained herein, the statements in this release are forward-looking and made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and may involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are based on information available to management at the time, and they involve judgments and estimates. Forward-looking statements include expressions such as "believe," "anticipate," "expect," "estimate," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "will," and similar terms and expressions. These forward-looking statements are made based on expectations and beliefs concerning future events affecting us and are subject to various risks, uncertainties and factors relating to our operations and business environment, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control, that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those matters expressed in or implied by these forward-looking statements. The following factors are among those that may cause actual results to differ materially from our forward-looking statements: the market demand for coal, coke and natural gas as well as changes in pricing and costs; the availability of raw material, labor, equipment and transportation; changes in weather and geologic conditions; changes in extraction costs, pricing and assumptions and projections concerning reserves in our mining operations; changes in customer orders; pricing actions by our competitors, customers, suppliers and contractors; changes in governmental policies and laws, including with respect to safety enhancements and environmental initiatives; availability and costs of credit, surety bonds and letters of credit; and changes in general economic conditions. Forward-looking statements made by us in this release, or elsewhere, speak only as of the date on which the statements were made. See also the "Risk Factors" in our 2010 Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings with the SEC which are currently available on our website at New risks and uncertainties arise from time to time, and it is impossible for us to predict these events or how they may affect us or our anticipated results. We have no duty to, and do not intend to, update or revise the forward-looking statements in this release, except as may be required by law. In light of these risks and uncertainties, readers should keep in mind that any forward-looking statement made in this press release may not occur. All data presented herein is as of the date of this release unless otherwise noted.