Consol lowers production estimates

CHARLESTON , W.Va. (AP) -- Coal mine operator Consol Energy has run into more production problems.

Canonsburg, Pa.-based Consol lowered third-quarter estimates Wednesday. The company says it expects to produce about 15 million tons in the period ending Sept. 30. Consol had predicted 16.4 million to 18.4 million tons.

Consol also expects costs to be up to 10 percent higher than the second quarter, when it also had production problems and spent $41.60 per ton to mine coal.

Consol blames roof falls, poor preparation for moving high-efficiency mining equipment, and more frequent government inspections for the latest shortfall.

Consol still expects 2008 production ranging from 17.8 million to 19.8 million tons.

Consol operates 17 mining complexes in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Utah.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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