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Walter Energy and Western Coal agree a C$ 3.3 billion merger

Oilfield Technology,

Walter Energy, a leading US producer and exporter of premium hard coking coal for the global steel industry, will acquire Canadian met coal producer, Western Coal Corp., for C$ 3.3 billion (US$ 3.3 billion). The transaction will create a leading, publicly traded, pure-play met coal producer with total coal reserves of approximately 385 million t and a significant and growing production profile balanced between Walter Energy's current high productivity assets and Western Coal's high growth assets in Canada, the US and the UK.

The combined company expects to produce in excess of 20 million t of coal by 2012. It will also be the only producer with cost advantaged transportation access to the high growth Asian and South American seaborne met coal markets.

As well as producing hard coking coal, Walter Energy also produces steam coal and industrial coal, met coke and coalbed methane. Western Coal is a producer of high quality met coal from mines in northeast British Columbia, Canada, high quality met coal and compliant thermal coal from mines in West Virginia, US, and high quality anthracite coal in South Wales, UK).

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