Kentucky-based coal producer Rhino Resource Partners LP (NYSE: RNO) said Oct. 21 that Christopher Walton has been appointed President and CEO of Rhino GP LLC, the company’s general partner.
Rhino GP LLC has also finalized an employment agreement with David Zatezalo, where Zatezalo has assumed the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rhino GP and will continue his employment with the partnership in a role that requires a reduced time commitment. Mark Zand, former Chairman, will remain a director of Rhino GP.
Zand said: “We are excited about the appointment of Chris as CEO and we are confident that Chris’ knowledge, expertise and leadership will continue to successfully guide Rhino’s operations, including the development of the new Pennyrile mine in western Kentucky. While his workload will be diminished, we also look forward to Dave’s continued involvement at Rhino. In addition to the operational experience he brings, Dave will be able to increase his focus on Rhino’s diversification efforts, including the ongoing development of the Utica Shale oil and gas property.”
Walton said: “I look forward to building Rhino into an even stronger diversified energy company. Our people, which are our number one asset, are safety oriented with knowledgeable managers and a dedicated workforce. By utilizing the expertise of our people during this current difficult coal market, along with the development of the Pennyrile mine and anticipated cash flows from our Utica Shale oil and gas investment, we expect to create substantial value for Rhino.”
Zatezalo said: “I am proud of the outstanding safety and operating record that Rhino has established during my tenure and I am confident that Chris will continue to advance Rhino’s safety and operational performance. I also look forward to my new role as Chairman as we continue to grow the Partnership.”
Pennyrile is a new deep coal mine that the company is developing in the high-sulfur coalfields of western Kentucky.
Rhino plans to release its 2013 third quarter financial results on Oct. 31 before the market opens.
Rhino Resource Partners LP produces metallurgical and steam coal in a variety of basins throughout the United States, it leases coal through its Elk Horn Coal subsidiary in eastern Kentucky, and it owns oil and gas acreage in the Utica and Cana Woodford plays. Rhino’s general partner, Rhino GP, is an affiliate of Wexford Capital LP, which is an SEC registered investment advisor with over $4.1bn of assets under management.