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Press release from PR Newswire

Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) Completes Acquisition of Macarthur Coal

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) Completes Acquisition of Macarthur Coal08:00 EST Tuesday, December 20, 2011ST. LOUIS, Dec. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) today announced that it has completed the acquisition of all outstanding shares in Macarthur Coal Limited and holds 100 percent of the company.  Peabody has notified the Australian Securities Exchange to delist Macarthur.    Peabody's pro forma Australia sales including the acquisition volumes were 32 million tons in 2010. Pro forma sales are targeted to grow to 45 to 50 million tons by 2014 to 2015, including 22 to 25 million tons of metallurgical coal, which places Peabody Energy among the top tier of global met coal producers. "The Macarthur purchase advances Peabody's strategy of expanding our global platform to serve major global demand centers and raising our contribution from higher-margin international assets," said Peabody Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregory H. Boyce.  "Our focus now is on driving integration and operations improvement and completing expansion projects." Macarthur has a number of mine development and infrastructure projects under way in addition to its existing Coppabella and Moorvale mines.  The Middlemount joint venture surface mine has recently completed the 16.5 kilometer rail spur linking the project to the Goonyella Rail System and has secured an additional mining lease to support expanded production capacity.  The mine began producing this year and is expected to annually produce more than 4 million tons of semi-hard coking coal and low-volatile PCI coal (on a 100 percent project basis) by 2014. Remaining construction includes a preparation plant upgrade targeted for completion in early 2012.     In addition, the Queensland Government has just announced the completion of the Goonyella to Abbot Point Expansion rail project.  The line links the Goonyella and Newlands rail systems, increasing the capacity of Queensland's coal exports through the Abbot Point Coal Terminal and improving efficiency and flexibility of coal exports.    Macarthur Coal has agreements to access the line to export coal produced from the Middlemount Coal project in 2012 through Abbot Point. The Codrilla Mine development continues to advance.  The mine is expected to produce approximately 3.5 million tons of low-volatile PCI coal annually (on a 100 percent project basis) with targeted completion in 2014.  The company has the required rail capacity and existing port capacity through Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.    Peabody continues to pursue infrastructure options to support its growth platform.   In December, Peabody and its affiliates secured Preferred Respondent Status for potential access to nearly 20 million tons of annual capacity in the Abbot Point Coal Terminal expansion as part of a consortium. Discussions to evaluate commercial terms and development plans with the North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation are under way. Peabody has established cross-functional teams to realize synergies through blending, sales and marketing, purchasing, infrastructure and capital project development.   Peabody Energy is the world's largest private-sector coal company and a global leader in clean coal solutions.  With 2010 sales of 246 million tons and nearly $7 billion in revenues, Peabody fuels 10 percent of U.S. power and 2 percent of worldwide electricity.Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions that the company believes are reasonable, but they are open to a wide range of uncertainties and business risks that may cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. These factors are difficult to accurately predict and may be beyond the company's control. The company does not undertake to update its forward-looking statements. Factors that could affect results include those described in this press release as well as risks detailed in the company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. CONTACT:Vic Svec(314) 342-7768SOURCE Peabody Energy