White Energy out of Australia said Oct. 7 that it has closed on the $20m buy of Mountainside Coal, which has several operating mines in Kentucky that currently produce about 400,000 tonnes per year.
White Energy said it plans to build a prep plant at the Mountainside operation and also a facility using its binderless coal briquetting (BCB) process. Mountainside Coal sells a low-ash product in the industrial market, White Energy noted. The BCB plant would allow recycling of waste coal sheered off during the process of sizing this coal for the industrial market, which is a concept the company said it has tested at its Cessnock BCB test plant in Australia.
White Energy has been looking for several years at deploying its BCB technology in the U.S. market. It indicated in the Oct. 7 statement that it is trying to interest unnamed Powder River Basin coal producers in the “business case” for the BCB process, which would remove much of the moisture from low-Btu coal, allowing more Btus to be shipped in each ton of coal railed out of the PRB.
The White Energy website, as it has for several years, shows the company as having deals with Kiewit Mining‘s Buckskin mine and Peabody Energy‘s Caballo mining operation, both located in the Wyoming PRB, for commercial deployment of the BCB technology.