Warrior Met Coal Ramping Up to Historical Levels

In its first quarter earnings reports, Alabama-based metallurgical coal producer Warrior Met Coal defines its strength and position in the market. “We are pleased with our strong performance in this first quarter reporting as a newly listed company,” Walt Scheller, CEO of Warrior Met Coal, said. “Over the past year, we have established Warrior as the premier and only ‘pure-play’ met coal producer in the U.S. Warrior’s unique value proposition is based on two principal factors: the strength of our met coal assets, and our competitive positioning as a formidable operator in the era of ‘new coal.’” Warrior began trading on the NYSE on April 13.

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Peabody to Keep Metropolitan Operation

Peabody has decided to retain the Metropolitan metallurgical coal mine and its associated 16.67% interest in the Port Kembla Coal Terminal after proposed purchaser South32 terminated the purchase contract. South32 was unable to obtain clearance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) within the timeframe required under the contract.

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Committee to Probe Coal Mine Incident in Iran

The Fars News Agency in Tehran reported that Iranian Industry Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh declared that a special team will probe into a deadly coal mine explosion in the northern part of the country. “A fact-finding committee has been set up to look into the incident caused by a deadly blast in Zemestanyurt coal mine in the northern city of Azadshahr in Golestan province,” Nematzadeh said.

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Foresight Asks to Re-enter Deer Run Longwall Mine

More than a year after its Deer Run longwall mine in southern Illinois was temporarily sealed to put out a stubborn underground fire or hotspot, Foresight Energy LP may have plans to reopen the mine later this year. In April, the St. Louis-based company formally asked the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) for authorization to re-enter the mine near Hillsboro in Montgomery County to check on its status, a MSHA spokeswoman said. As of early May, there was no indication the federal agency had given its okay.

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China to Further Consolidate Coal Operations

China plans to create about 10 mega coal companies by 2020 through mergers and reorganizations, as part of its long-standing efforts to cut overcapacity, according to China Daily. The country is preparing guidelines to overhaul the sector and it hopes to create several new large coal companies with annual capacity of 100 million metric tons (mt) by 2020, explained Wang Xiaolin, deputy director of the National Energy Administration (NEA).

Six Chinese producers have already attained that production level, said Zhang Hong, deputy secretary-general of the China National Coal Association.


Anglo to Sell its Interest in Drayton in Australia

Anglo American confirmed it has entered into an agreement with Malabar Coal Ltd. to sell its 88.17% interest in the Drayton thermal coal mine and Drayton South project, located in New South Wales, Australia.

Malabar Coal Ltd.’s primary focus up until now has been the development of its Spur Hill underground coking coal project in the upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales. The Drayton transaction remains subject to several conditions and its terms are confidential. Anglo American ceased mining activities at the Drayton mine during 2016.


Zinke Lifts Federal Coal Leasing Moratorium

In late March, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke issued Secretarial Order 3348 revoking the January 16, 2016, order 3338 issued by former Secretary Sally Jewell that placed a moratorium on federal coal leases. Order 3338 imposed a three-year moratorium, with exceptions, on further coal lease sales pending completion of a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) analyzing potential leasing and management reforms of the federal coal program.

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