Washington, D.C. 20549

                                    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): March 8, 1999

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

            Delaware                   1-13105           43-0921172
         ------------------        ----------------     ------------
    (State or other jurisdiction   (Commission File   (I.R.S. Employer
       of incorporation                 Number)      Identification No.)
               CityPlace One, Suite 300, St. Louis, Missouri 63141
               (Address of principal executive offices) (Zip code)
       Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (314) 994-2700

                               Page 1 of 4 pages.
                         Exhibit Index begins on page 4.

Item 5.   Other Events.
     On March 8, 1999, Arch Coal,  Inc. (the  "Company")  announced its plans to
shut down its Hobet  Mining  subsidiary's  Dal-Tex  mine in Logan  County,  West
Virginia.  A copy of the Company's press release dated March 8, 1999 is attached
hereto and incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

Item 7.   Financial Statements, Pro Forma Financial Information and Exhibits.

         (c)   The following Exhibit is filed with this Current Report
on Form 8-K:

         Exhibit No.                Description
         -----------                -----------

         99                         Press Release dated as of March 8, 1999

                               Page 2 of 4 pages.
                         Exhibit Index begins on page 4.


     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:  March 9, 1999                   ARCH COAL, INC.

                                        By:  /s/ Jeffry N. Quinn
                                        Jeffry N. Quinn
                                        Senior Vice President -
                                        Law & Human Resources,
                                        Secretary and General Counsel
                               Page 3 of 4 pages.
                         Exhibit Index begins on page 4.

                                  EXHIBIT INDEX

Exhibit No.                       Description
- -----------                       -----------

99                                Press Release dated as of March 8, 1999
                               Page 4 of 4 pages.

                                                                      Exhibit 99

Arch Coal Announces Plans to Shut Down its Dal-Tex Mine

     ST. LOUIS,  March 8 -- Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:  ACI - news) announced Monday
its plans to shut  down its  Hobet  Mining  subsidiary's  Dal-Tex  mine in Logan
County,  West Virginia.  The decision  follows the March 3, 1999,  order by U.S.
District Court enjoining federal and state agencies from issuing any permits for
mining at the company's  proposed  Spruce Fork surface coal mine adjacent to the
existing Dal-Tex operations.  Without permits to move into the new reserves, the
Dal-Tex mine, which has mined all of its currently  permitted economic reserves,
is being forced to shut down.
     "This is one of the most  painful  decisions I have ever had to make," said
Steven F. Leer,  President and CEO of Arch Coal, Inc. "We repeatedly pointed out
that the delay in granting these permits would lead to very negative results for
Dal-Tex  employees,  their  families,  the  citizens  of  Logan  County  and the
surrounding  area, and the mine.  Unfortunately,  the court's order leaves us no
other option than to commence the  shutdown of Dal-Tex.  As a practical  matter,
Dal-Tex  probably  should  have begun an  orderly  shutdown  several  months ago
because we had mined out virtually all of the economically  recoverable reserves
from the existing permitted area. However,  we kept the equipment running,  even
while we were losing over $1 million per month, knowing that this permit met all
of the detailed  requirements of the federal and state regulatory agencies,  and
we had expected a favorable ruling."
     "I want our  employees,  our suppliers and those  citizens of West Virginia
who supported our efforts to be aware of how grateful we are for their  support.
We deeply  regret the actions that  commenced  today.  It is difficult to accept
that the  plaintiffs  and the court can dismiss  the  personal  hardships  to be
suffered  by so many good  hardworking  West  Virginians  as  'purely  temporary
economic  harms.' The  plaintiffs  are  unilaterally  trying to rewrite the 1977
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act and change the manner in which it has
been  interpreted  by federal  and state  regulatory  agencies  over the past 22
years.  We feel it is  truly  incredible  that a  mining  process  that has been
practiced  successfully  in West Virginia  since 1977 without any  indication of
negative  long-term  environmental  impact has  suddenly  been deemed  unfit for
     "Arch Coal will aggressively  pursue all available legal options to reverse
the court's decision and obtain the necessary permits for the development of the
Spruce Fork mine," Leer continued. "Realistically,  however,  the time required
for this  process will mean that the  development  of Spruce Fork will likely be
delayed for several years,  and any future decision  concerning the commencement
of mining at the site will be  influenced  by market  conditions  at that  time.
Furthermore,  any coal  company -- Arch  included -- will have to think long and
hard before investing additional capital in such an uncertain environment."
     In total,  nearly 300  direct  mining  jobs will  likely be  eliminated  at
Dal-Tex in the next four months.  The company  reported that 30 miners were laid
off today, and that approximately 200 additional miners at the company's surface
mine and coal preparation plant would lose their jobs in mid-July.  In addition,
the roughly 50  employees  at  Dal-Tex's  Adkins Fork deep mine will likely lose
their  jobs in  mid-July  as well.  As with many  other deep mines in the state,
Adkins Fork provides coal for blending with  lower-cost  surface mine production
and is simply not economic long-term as a stand-alone operation. By early August
1999 the only miners likely to remain employed at Dal-Tex will be  approximately
50 personnel needed for mine reclamation.
     But Arch Coal and the  employees  at Dal-Tex are not the only ones who have
been harmed by the plaintiffs'  actions and the court's  decision.  In 1998, the
Dal-Tex  complex paid nearly $48 million to West Virginia  businesses for a wide
range of materials and services.  With the Dal-Tex complex idled,  many of these
businesses  may be forced to reduce  their  work  forces  and some may even shut
down.  In  addition,  state tax  revenues  will be reduced  which  could lead to
reduced  services  or  higher  taxes  for  other  West  Virginia   citizens  and
businesses.  Last year,  $6.2  million  in taxes  directly  attributable  to the
Dal-Tex operation were paid to the state of West Virginia.  (That total does not
include personal income taxes paid by Dal-Tex employees.) It's also important to
note that  economists  believe that five to eight  indirect  jobs are created by
every direct mining job,  which means that the actions of the plaintiffs and the
court will likely have  repercussions far beyond the nearly 300 direct jobs that
will be eliminated at Dal-Tex.
     Arch's  decision  to  begin  layoffs  dictates  that it also  redeploy  its
equipment.  One of the large  Dal-Tex  shovels  and its  associated  trucks  and
support  equipment  will  likely be shipped to Arch's  Black  Thunder  mine near
Gillette, Wyoming. The second shovel and its associated trucks and other support
equipment,  will be moved to another of Arch's West Virginia surface mines. Arch
officials  further  indicated  that  they  are  evaluating  the  possibility  of
disassembling  the Marion 8200  dragline  and moving it to  Wyoming,  but that a
final decision will not be made until an examination of the company's  long-term
options at Spruce  Fork are  completed.  Additional  equipment  will be moved to
various  Arch  mines  around  the  U.S.  as those  mines  require  additions  or
replacements.  All of  Arch's  sales  obligations  will be met from  other  Arch
     Leer further  commented,  "We deeply  regret the impact that the actions of
the  plaintiffs  and the court will have on our  employees  and the  citizens of
Logan County and the  surrounding  area.  Throughout  the turbulence of the past
year we have taken every  possible step to demonstrate  our compliance  with the
law. All relevant Federal agencies, including EPA and the Corps of Engineers, as
well as the West Virginia Department of Environmental  Protection concluded that
our permit application fully complied with all applicable law. In fact, the West
Virginia DEP  testified  that our  application  was one of the most detailed and
well engineered  applications ever submitted.  Unfortunately the plaintiffs have
constantly refused to accept our efforts.  We can only conclude that they simply
do not  want to see  surface  coal  mining  -- and,  quite  likely,  any  mining
whatsoever -- occur in West  Virginia. The  prohibition  of surface mining would
almost  certainly  'plunge  the state into  economic  depression,'  to quote the
Governor's task force on mountaintop mining."
     During 1998,  Dal-Tex  accounted for 6.7% of Arch's revenues and the mine's
operating  losses reduced  Arch's  operating  profits by 6.8%.  Arch Coal is the
nation's  second  largest coal  producer,  with  subsidiary  operations  in West
Virginia,  Kentucky,  Virginia,  Illinois,  Wyoming,  Colorado and Utah. Through
these  operations,  Arch  Coal  provides  the fuel for  approximately  6% of the
electricity generated in the United States.