CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The nation’s top coal producer, Peabody Energy, warned Wednesday that it might be headed for bankruptcy, in a move that again emphasizes the continuing troubles faced by the U.S. mining industry.
St. Louis-based Peabody said in a financial filing that it had delayed a key interest payment due this week and cited the possibility of debt default, saying the company “may not have sufficient liquidity to sustain operations and continue as a going concern.”
In a news release, Peabody said it plans to use a 30-day grace period on $71.1 million in interest that was due Tuesday “to have conversations with our lenders about our alternatives, while maintaining options around our interest payments.”
“If we are not able to timely, successfully or efficiently implement the strategies that we are pursuing to improve our operating performance and financial position, obtain alternative sources of capital or otherwise meet our liquidity needs, we may need to voluntarily seek protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code,” Peabody said in its annual financial report, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday morning.
Peabody, founded in 1883, produced more than 175 million tons of coal and employed nearly 5,000 miners in the United States in 2015…