Coal mining company Patriot Coal Corp. said Tuesday that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of “active negotiations” to sell its assets.
The announcement came amid troubling market conditions for the metallurgical coal that Patriot, which operates mainly in the eastern United States, produces and markets.
“The board and management team have determined that this process represents the best path forward for Patriot and its stakeholders,” Bob Bennett, Patriot’s president, said in a statement.
Patriot, based in West Virginia, was spun off from Peabody Energy Corp. less than a decade ago. It last filed for Chapter 11 in 2012, citing $3 billion in debt, mainly from environmental and labor obligations.
Metallurgical coal demand is poor among the manufacturing base that was once a major customer, and competition from cheap natural gas is also hurting the business.
Patriot ranked No. 12 among United States coal miners in 2013, the most recent year for which the Energy Information Administration has data.