Atlantic Coal makes progress toward higher anthracite output

Atlantic Coal plc, a London-listed producer of anthracite coal in Pennsylvania, said that in 2011 it increased production and sales experienced at its Stockton operation to 207,005 tons of run-of mine (ROM) raw coal mined and sales of 106,403 tons of clean coal reached.

That is against ROM production of 207,873 tons in 2010 and sales of 97,342 tons. The current year highlights include: an option to lease the Pott & Bannon anthracite coal mining property in Schuykill County believed to contain 4.1 million tons of clean coal; an option to acquire anthracite mining assets for a purchase price of US$35m; a 12% increase in production at Stockton and 24% increase in average sales price experienced in the first quarter of 2012 to 31,729 tons at $166.30, against first quarter 2011 figures of 28,376 tons at $134.25; and completion of the Norfolk Southern railroad diversion providing access to about 1 million tons of previously unworkable coal that had been under the old railbed.

The Stockton mine site covers an area of approximately 900 hectares located in the Hazel Creek Valley, a prime anthracite region with high quality coal reserves with demand for this product in the industrial and heating markets.

As a result of various mechanical difficulties experienced with the company’s excavators and a delay in the diversion of the Norfolk Southern rail line previously running through the company’s site, Alantic did not reach its targeted annual production of 300,000 tons of ROM coal for 2011. To address this it invested in a second-hand Komatsu PC2000 hydraulic excavator and ordered a second Liebherr R9250 19-yard bucket hydraulic excavator. This excavator is scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2012. Additionally, Atlantic carried out an overhaul program on the existing truck fleet and outsourced the reclamation work at the company’s Gowen site which freed-up two Cat 777 trucks to provide additional haul truck capacity for the two excavators working at the Stockton site.

“The year ahead is set to be positive for Atlantic,” wrote Atlantic Chairman Adam Wilson. “With the diversion of the railroad now complete, we are confident that our production profile at Stockton will improve as underpinned by an independent report which assesses our current mine plan and equipment on site. Expansion is also at the forefront of our strategy. With due diligence progressing well at both option sites, we believe that the Company is in a strong position to build on its current footprint in Pennsylvania. Through this we anticipate that Atlantic will be positioned to capitalise on the rising demand for coal in the US and internationally.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.