Arch Coal’s Tygart Valley No. 1 mine will be renamed the Leer mine in recognition of Steven F. Leer, who was elected executive chairman of Arch’s board after two decades with the company as CEO.

“We wanted to honor Steve for two decades of exceptional service and leadership,” said Arch’s Lead Director James R. Boyd. “It is fitting to name this brand-new, world-class mining complex in honor of Steve and his vision of safety excellence, environmental stewardship and strategic growth. We view the Leer mine as one of Arch’s most exciting new growth projects and an integral part of our company’s future.”

Initiated by International Coal Group, and acquired by Arch Coal in 2011, the Leer mine is a metallurgical coal mine currently under development in Taylor County, West Virginia. With the startup of the longwall in mid-2013, the Leer mine is expected to produce 3.5 million tons annually.

“I’m honored to have my name forever associated with this new operation, which I believe is destined to become one of the world’s premier coal mines,” said Leer. “It has been a great privilege to be associated with Arch for 20 years and counting, and I am more enthusiastic than ever about the company’s exciting future prospects.”