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Alpha Bankruptcy Plan Shows Mines Must Die to Save Others

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As coal king Alpha Natural Resources Inc. prepares for bankruptcy, an uncomfortable reality is setting in across the hills of Appalachia and the open pits of Wyoming: More mines are going to have to die for the rest to survive.

Alpha Natural, the biggest U.S. producer of metallurgical coal, is discussing a plan with creditors that would shut mines as part of its bankruptcy proceedings, three people with direct knowledge of the situation said Thursday, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.