ST. LOUIS (AP) __ Arch Coal plans to buy rival International Coal Group in an all-cash deal valued at $3.4 billion.

The companies announced the deal today. They say the new company will form the nation’s second largest supplier of metallurgical coal, which is used to make steel.

St. Louis-based Arch Coal expects the deal to boost earnings starting next year and for sales of met coal this year to reach 11 million tons. The combined company will seek to expand production to more than 14 million tons per year over the next three years.

International Coal Group is based in Scott Depot, West Virginia.  It produces coal in 13 mining complexes throughout Northern and Central Appalachia and Illinois.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.


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