Patriot idles western Kentucky mine due to prep plant failure

Patriot Coal (OTC Pink: PATCA), which a few months ago emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, announced May 12 that its Highland Mine complex, located near Henderson, Ky., will be idling all coal production effective that day due to a structural failure that damaged a portion of the Camp Preparation Plant.

The failure came on May 6. The company anticipates that full production at the Highland mine will be restored by June 30, but limited production may be started earlier when the prep plant is repaired enough to resume partial coal processing. At full operation, the Highland complex has over 500 employees and ships approximately 3.8 million tons of coal annually.

U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data shows that the Highland 9 deep mine of Patriot’s Highland Mining Co. LLC subsidiary produced 847,571 tons in the first quarter of this year and 2.9 million tons in all of 2013. This coal is sold in the thermal market and is transported via barges loaded on the Ohio River. The coal is produced from the high-sulfur Kentucky No. 9 seam. 

St. Louis-based Patriot Coal is a producer and marketer of coal in the eastern U.S., with 10 active mining complexes in Appalachia and the Illinois Basin. Patriot ships to domestic and international electricity generators, industrial users and metallurgical coal customers, and controls approximately 1.8 billion tons of proven and probable coal reserves.

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.