Atlantic Coal swings to profit in first half of 2013

Atlantic Coal plc, a producer of anthracite coal in Pennsylvania, reported on Sept. 26 its results for the six months ended June 30 and was able to say it had higher profits and coal production.

Its net profit of US$2,488,465 is compared with a loss in the first half of 2012 of US$1,366,923.

The company has also bolstered anthracite reserve portfolio through the exercise of a lease option over the Pott and Bannon project which is estimated by the company’s directors to hold extensive reserves and benefits from its close proximity to the company’s Stockton project. An independent audit confirmed a 29% increase in clean coal reserves achieved at Stockton to 1.77 million tons.

There was a 37.4% increase in clean coal production compared with H1 2012 (H1 2012 – 59,642 tons, H2 2013 – 81,965 tons) but with production scaled back in the second quarter of 2013 in response to depressed prices and reductions in demand from  industry. The Stockton mine, though, is currently working a double shift in order to increase production again to cater to an anticipated increase in demand for the autumn/winter heating season.

Atlantic Coal Managing Director Steve Best said: “This has been an exciting period with the Pott and Bannon site being brought into our Pennsylvania anthracite portfolio and having achieved substantially increased production compared with H1 2012. This has been against a background of falling prices and demand compared with last year but our flexible approach to operations at the Stockton Mine and continuing rigorous review of operations has enabled us to produce a healthy net profit. This has been particularly pleasing given the difficult market conditions. We remain very positive about the prospects for the Pennsylvania anthracite industry and are actively developing the Pott and Bannon mine plan with a view to commencing operations on site in the latter part of 2014. We also continue to look for new opportunities to acquire high quality, low ratio mining sites in the Pennsylvania anthracite belt that are either in, or can quickly be brought into, production as part of our strategy to become a major producer in Pennsylvania.”

Having exercised a lease option over the 410-acre Pott and Bannon site in January 2013, the company has been progressing the mine planning and engineering process with a view to commencing mining operations in the latter part of 2014.

On acquisition of the project, the company thought that Pott and Bannon could contain up to 13.6 million tons run-of-mine (ROM) coal, equating to approximately 4.1 million tons of washed, saleable anthracite, based on information provided to the company in a report, commissioned by the Reading Anthracite Co. in January 1999 and prepared by consultant John T. Boyd Co. The average strip ratio was estimated to be 3.9 ROM. A qualified person is currently undertaking a reserve re-assessment together with mine planning and further announcements will be made at the appropriate time.

On July 25, the company announced that it had signed a loan agreement with YA Global Master SPV Ltd. under which Atlantic Coal can borrow up to US$5m. This will enable it to maintain a development program at Stockton and to commence operations at Pott and Bannon.

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.