CONSOL Energy (NYSE: CNX) said that effective on Sept. 4, it will temporarily idle its Buchanan longwall mine in southwestern Virginia, which is a major producer of Pocahontas-seam coal for the metallurgical coal market.
CONSOL said it will also idle at least a portion of the recently-revived Amonate Mining Complex in southern West Virginia. That complex is a series of small mines based around the Amonate prep plant. A determination of whether to partially or fully idle this complex is expected soon, along with an effective idling date. Amonate also produces met coal.
Notable is that Buchanan also has supplied coal in the past to certain power plants that need it due to boiler limitations. The only Buchanan deliveries recorded in the first half of this year by the U.S. Energy Information Administration to a power plant were to the Merrimack plant.
“Global steel demand is under pressure and as a consequence, raw materials used to make steel are in less demand,” said CONSOL in a Sept. 4 statement. “Through these idlings, CONSOL Energy is responding to weak market conditions throughout its export markets in Asia, Europe, and South America. The idlings are expected to last for 30 to 60 days. Buchanan Mine typically produces approximately 400,000 tons per month, while Amonate produces about 35,000 tons per month. Buchanan Mine has about 620 production and maintenance employees, most of whom will be furloughed. Amonate’s workforce is contracted. The company will continue to monitor market demand and respond accordingly.”