Coal Age

JAN-FEB 2017

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January-February 2017 www.coalage.com 27 u.s. longwall census continued Asserting itself as one of the leading producers of metallurgical grade coal, Coronado Coal purchased the Buchanan longwall mine in Virginia and some ad- ditional assets from CONSOL Energy for $420 million at the end of February 2016. Buchanan is the deepest mine in the U.S. at 2,000 ft and last year it produced 4.9 million tons — a considerable achieve- ment considering it uses shaft haulage. Alliance Resource Partners operates three longwalls: White Oak in Illinois and Tunnel Ridge and Mountain View in West Virginia. In Illinois, production from the Hamilton longwall mine helped offset the production loss related to the idling of other mines in the region. The Tunnel Ridge mine completed a longwall move in the fourth quarter of 2016. Last year, Walter Energy announced it was selling its longwall operations to Coal Acquisition Inc., as part of a bankruptcy plan of reorganization. The company has since been renamed Warrior Met Coal and it op- erates the Blue Creek longwall mines in Ala- bama. They produce metallurgical coal from some of the deepest and gassiest mines. Bowie has closed and sealed the Bowie No. 2 mine in Colorado, and it has been re- moved from the census. Bowie now operates two longwall mines in Utah. Bowie Resource Partners did not buy the Twentymile long- wall complex in Colorado from Peabody Energy. Production at the Twentymile mine dropped to 2.6 million tons in 2016 as they struggled with difficult startup conditions. Production at Westmoreland Coal Co.'s San Juan longwall mine in Farmington, New Mexico, dropped to 4.3 million tons in 2016. To comply with federal haze regulations, Public Service Co. of New Mexico shut down two of the Waterflow power plant's four gen- erating units, which reduced its coal require- ments by 50%. San Juan is now contracted to deliver 3.2 million tons to Waterflow. With 13 faces, West Virginia remains the longwall leader, followed by Illinois (7), Pennsylvania (6) and Alabama (5). Looking at the numbers, the average U.S. longwall mine operating in coal produced 4.3 mil- lion tpy in 2016 compared to 4.5 million tpy in 2015. On average, it has a cutting height of 94.3 in., a panel width (or face length) of 1,236 ft, and a panel length of 12,321.5 ft. Last year, those numbers were 91.6 in., a panel width (or face length) of 1,215 ft, and a panel length of 11,935 ft, respectively. Thirteen longwall faces have face lengths of 1,500 ft or greater. A total of 16 longwalls operate in the Pittsburgh No. 8 seam. The maximum overburden on average reaches 1,103.9 ft. Except for a few mines in Utah, most are developed with three entry gates. Using a 1,869-hp dou- ble-drum, ranging-arm shearer, they take a 40.8-in. cut. The average yield setting on the shield is 1,056.2 tons. All of the faces ex- cept for 5 are high voltage (4,160 volts). The Powhatan No. 6 mine in Ohio has the lon- gest face: 1,548 ft. At 22,500 ft, Signal Peak Energy's Bull Mountain mine in Montana has the longest panel. The West Elk mine in Colorado operates a 2,805-hp shearer. Considering the overall changes that have taken place in U.S. coal mining busi- ness, coal operators have maintained much of the longwall production capacity. Once a longwall face starts production it must keep retreating through the panel to avoid roof control problems, begging the ques- tion: How slow can we go? When the mar- ket regains momentum, which is expected later this year and in 2018, these operators will be able to ramp up production without making much of an additional investment. Table 2—Longwall Coal Production (2015-2016) Prod. Prod. % U.S. Longwall Mines 2015 2014 Change CNX Coal Resources Bailey 0 12,056,165 0 10,185,898 - 18.4 Foresight Energy Sugar Camp 0 11,443,835 0 10,587,790 -0 8.1 Murray American Energy Marshall County 0 10,523,671 0 10,294,865 -0 2.2 CNX Coal Resources Enlow Fork 00 9,638,245 00 8,999,294 -0 7.1 Contura Energy Cumberland 00 6,959,706 00 7,490,061 0 -7.1 Alliance Resource Partners Tunnel Ridge 00 6,593,227 00 5,893,600 - 11.9 Murray American Energy Harrison County 00 6,586,715 00 7,106,441 0 -7.3 Murray American Energy Ohio County 00 6,265,878 00 6,081,768 -0 3.0 Signal Peak Energy Bull Mountain 00 5,609,042 00 6,419,645 -12.6 Foresight Energy Mach Mining 00 5,401,420 00 5,638,291 0 -4.2 Bowie Resource Partners Sufco No. 1 00 5,375,171 00 6,024,483 -10.8 American Energy Corp. Century Mine 00 4,983,672 00 5,248,702 0 -5.0 CNX Coal Resources Buchanan 00 4,946,468 00 4,353,037 - 13.6 Bowie Resource Partners Skyline 00 4,538,021 00 4,408,963 -0 2.9 Murray American Energy Marion County 00 4,370,847 00 6,481,620 -32.6 Westmoreland Coal Co. San Juan South 00 4,330,717 00 6,517,519 -33.6 Arch Coal West Elk 00 4,156,405 00 5,074,821 -18.1 Murray American Energy Monongalia County 00 3,895,290 00 3,283,522 - 18.6 Arch Coal Leer 00 3,572,262 00 3,383,885 -0 5.6 Warrior Met Coal Blue Creek No. 7 00 3,067,565 00 3,035,681 -0 1.1 Alliance Resource Partners Hamilton No. 1 00 3,017,507 00 5,815,950 -48.1 CNX Coal Resources Harvey 00 2,971,179 00 3,604,973 -17.6 Ohio Valley Coal Powhatan No. 6 00 2,815,831 00 4,756,028 -40.8 Peabody Energy Twentymile 00 2,590,392 00 4,122,448 -37.2 Panther Creek Mining American Eagle 00 2,041,927 00 1,859,734 -0 9.8 Alliance Resource Partners Mountain View 00 2,014,302 00 2,108,354 0 -4.5 Drummond Co. Inc. Shoal Creek 00 1,833,398 00 2,043,184 -10.3 UtahAmerican Energy Lila Canyon 00 1,586,720 00 1,579,642 -0 0.4 Pacific Minerals Bridger 00 1,542,452 00 3,090,175 -50.1 ERP Compliant Fuels Federal No. 2 00 1,507,373 00 2,441,623 -38.3 Arch Coal Mountaineer II 00 1,478,926 00 1,923,968 -23.1 Seneca Coal Resources Oak Grove 00 1,474,588 00 1,982,503 -25.6 AmCoal New Future 00 1,406,428 00 5,163,506 -72.8 Blue Mountain Energy Deserado 00 1,335,131 00 2,106,265 -36.6 Seneca Coal Resources Pinnacle No. 50 000, 921,453 00 2,406,437 -61.7 Warrior Met Coal Blue Creek No. 4 000, 343,771 00 2,416,556 -85.8 Total U.S. Longwall Production 153,195,700 185,581,042 -17.5

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