U.S. coal producer Murray Energy heads offshore with buy of Colombian coal mines

Murray Energy, which has grown tremendously in the last couple of years with a buy of several West Virginia coal mines from CONSOL Energy and an investment in Illinois coal producer Foresight Energy, said Aug. 13 that it is headed to the coalfields of Colombia.

Murray Energy announced that it has acquired Colombia Natural Resources and related assets, located in Colombia, South America. This acquisition includes two developed surface mining operations, the La Francia and the El Hatillo mines, three undeveloped mines, over 184 million tons of coal reserves, a coal port facility, partial ownership of a railroad line, eleven locomotives, 530 railcars, and certain other assets.

“As the United States coal industry continues to be under attack for elimination by the Obama Administration, we must look to international markets to ensure our survival,” said Robert E. Murray, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Murray Energy. “We are very excited about this new venture, which solidifies Murray Energy’s position as a premier coal producer and exporter in the international marketplace.”

“This is truly a transformative transaction for Murray Energy. Acquiring assets in Colombia will broaden our international presence in an attractive market and position ourselves to better serve our customers around the world,” said Robert D. Moore, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer of Murray Energy.

Murray Energy and Javelin Global Commodities Holdings LLP separately announced Aug. 13 that they have entered into a long-term exclusive marketing agreement, whereby Javelin will be the marketing agent for all coal produced by Murray Energy’s Colombian mines, now operated as Murray Colombian Resources LLC.

“Murray Energy is extremely excited to have Javelin market the coal from our South American operations in the international marketplace,” said Robert E. Murray. “Murray Energy is a premier coal producer and exporter in the international marketplace, and Javelin’s efforts only strengthens our position and our ability to serve our customers worldwide.”

“Murray Energy has placed their trust in us to help them carry out their strategic visions, and their acquisition of Murray Colombian Resources is a terrific fit for our ongoing marketing activities in North America, Europe, and Latin America. We look forward to serving these customers with an increasing suite of high-quality coals,” noted Peter Bradley, Chief Executive Officer of Javelin. “The low sulphur, excellent blending Colombian coal, which Murray Energy will now produce at Murray Colombian Resources, is an ideal complement to the high heating value, low cost coal from Murray Energy’s mining operations in the United States.”

Murray Energy is the largest privately owned coal company in the United States and the coal industry’s leading longwall coal producer. Murray Energy has grown through its late 2013 acquisition of the Consolidation Coal, producing over 62 million tons of high-quality, underground mined thermal coal in 2014. This year, Murray Energy invested in Foresight Energy and entered an agreement for the management of Foresight’s operations, which produce about 25 million tons of coal per year. Murray Energy’s combined production is now at 87 million tons of underground mined coal annually, primarily from the Illinois and Northern Appalachian Basins in the United States.

Javelin is a London based company owned by veteran worldwide marketing and trading individuals, Murray Energy, and E.ON Global Commodities SE of Germany. While the primary focus of the Javelin is on coal and electric power, there will be expansion into other commodities. Javelin has entered into a long-term export marketing and domestic advisory agreement with Murray Energy and a long-term hedging and credit line with E.ON.

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.