Alpha Natural Resources Holdings Inc. and ANR Inc. announced Nov. 18 the company’s plan to produce 13 million tons of coal in 2017.
A company known as Alpha Natural Resources was recenty split in two in bankruptcy, with these companies mostly getting Central Appalachia operations, and another company, Contura Energy, getting other mines, including the two big Powder River Basin mines in Wyoming.
Alpha CEO David Stetson said that approximately half of this 2017 output will be sold into the thermal market for power generation and half into the metallurgical market for steel production. “We have the world’s premier metallurgical coals from multiple mines and high quality, high heat thermal coal production, which, in many cases has been serving the same power customers for decades,” he said.
Stetson said there may be a misunderstanding that the reorganized company exists primarily for reclamation of old coal mines. “With 2,700 employees and 17 active mines and 7 prep plants, we are a fully integrated coal company with estimated 2017 production in excess of 13 million tons. While one of the largest coal producers in the Central Appalachia (CAPP) region, we remain committed to being a good steward of the environment as we honor our obligations to federal and state agencies, as well as the communities in which we operate.”
Stetson also announced Alpha’s plan for capital expansion for next year and beyond. The capital projects include developing a conveyor system to connect the Workman Creek reserve base with the Marfork Preparation Plant in Raleigh County, West Virginia, which will provide transportation for 50 million metallurgical reserve tons and will remove coal trucks from local highways. And, expansion is planned for the Kepler mining complex in Wyoming County, West Virginia, that will provide access to 15 million tons of premium metallurgical coal.
Stetson said additional divestitures of inactive assets are likely, “We recently sold the Enterprise Mining complex to Kingdom-Keystone and we are in negotiations for at least three other idle complexes,” said Stetson. “We expect to be here for the long term, committed and steadfast to return our miners home to their families safely every day, to be a careful steward of the environment, a preferred supplier to utilities and steel producers, and a valuable partner to the communities in which we work and live.”
Alpha Natural Resources Holdings and ANR Inc. have affiliate mining operations in West Virginia and Kentucky, and supply metallurgical coal to the steel industry and thermal coal to generate power. ANR has offices in Kingsport, Tennessee, and Julian, West Virginia, which support 17 active mining operations.