WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

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                                    FORM 8-K

                                 CURRENT REPORT

                    PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
                         SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

      Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported): August 11, 1998

                                 Arch Coal, Inc.
             (Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

          Delaware                     1-13105                 43-0921172
    (State or other jurisdiction  (Commission File Number)   (I.R.S. Employer
         of incorporation)                                   Identification No.)

      CityPlace One,    Suite 300,    Creve Coeur,    Missouri     63141
      (Address of principal executive offices)                     (Zip code)

Registrant's telephone number, including area code:  (314) 994-2700

Item 5.           OTHER EVENTS.

      Ashland,  Inc.  ("Ashland") has advised Arch Coal, Inc. ("Arch Coal") that
due to market conditions  Ashland will not offer up to 2.1 million shares of its
Arch Coal common stock in an underwritten public offering. Arch Coal and Ashland
earlier  announced  that Ashland had  exercised its demand  registration  rights
under an April 4, 1997,  registration rights agreement to register the Arch Coal
common stock, the sale of which would have reduced Ashland's  ownership interest
in Arch Coal from approximately 55% to less than 50%.

       (c) The following Exhibits are filed with or incorporated by reference as
           part of this Current Report on Form 8-K: NONE


     Pursuant to the  requirements  of the Securities  Exchange Act of 1934, the
registrant  has duly  caused  this  report  to be  signed  on its  behalf by the
undersigned hereunto duly authorized.

      Dated:  August 11, 1998       ARCH COAL, INC.

                              By: /s/ Jeffry N. Quinn
                                  Jeffry N. Quinn     
                                  Senior Vice President -
                                  Law & Human Resources,
                                  General Counsel and Secretary