Rhino Resource Partners LP (NYSE: RNO) said May 8 that it has purchased certain rights to coal leases and surface property located in Daviess and McLean counties in western Kentucky.
The coal leases and property are estimated to contain approximately 30 million tons of non-reserve coal deposits and approximately 12,100 leased acres that are contiguous to the Green River, a major thoroughfare for western Kentucky coal moving into the Ohio River power plant market. The property is undeveloped, but fully permitted, and provides Rhino with access to Illinois Basin coal reserves adjacent to a navigable waterway, which is expected to provide enhanced export opportunity to non-U.S. customers, said Rhino. It didn’t offer any further description of the property or who the seller would be.
Dave Zatezalo, President and CEO of Rhino’s general partner, stated: “We are pleased to make an acquisition that provides inland waterway access from the Illinois Basin. This acquisition provides Rhino lower cost capability to develop a substantial footprint in a major coal producing basin, thus strengthening our product and market offerings.”
Rhino hasn’t been in western Kentucky up to now. It does have the undeveloped Taylorville deep mine project in Christian County, Ill., also in the Illinois Basin, that is at least in part awaiting development of a nearby coal gasification plant to go into development.