Coal Age

SEP 2017

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4 www.coalage.com September 2017 Paringa Resources Ltd., the newest entrant in the Illinois Basin (ILB) steam coal market, began construction in August on its 2.8-million-tons-per-year (tpy) Poplar Grove underground steam coal mine, the first of two deep mines planned by the Australian company for its extensive Buck Creek reserve in western Kentucky. Site work got under way in the McLean County/Hopkins County area near the Green River less than 18 months after the company flip-flopped its original plans and decided to build the low-capital expenditure Poplar Grove mine before the 3.8-mil- lion-tpy Cypress mine. Current plans call for Poplar Grove to produce its first coal around mid-2018, and ramp up output from both the western Kentucky Nos. 9 and 11 seams by the end of 2020. Depending on market conditions, construction could start on the fully permit- ted Cypress mine in early 2019. Poplar Grove is expected to have a mine life of 25 years, and Cypress, a life of around 18 years. Under an amended "cornerstone" sales agreement, Paringa is contracted to deliver a total of 4.75 million tons of 11,200 Btu/ lb product from Poplar Grove over a five-year period, starting in 2018, to Louisville Gas & Electric Co. (LG&E) and Kentucky Utili- ties Co. (KU), the state's largest electric utilities and subsidiaries of Pennsylvania-based PPL Corp. LG&E and KU serve more than 1.1 million customers and own four major coal-burning power plants in the commonwealth. b r e a k i n g n e w s Permitting Concerns Force CONSOL to Change Bailey's Production Plans The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA-DEP) is requiring more time to evaluate the approval of CONSOL Energy's Bailey mine permit for the 4L panel, and as a result, the company has decided to move the longwall to another panel in order to resume operations. CONSOL Energy expects the longwall move to last approximate- ly four weeks and is implementing several measures to mitigate the production impact from this delay. These measures include working additional unscheduled shifts at the remaining four long- walls, compared to the previous five-and-a-half-day schedule. This operating schedule change will also allow the company to meet its customers' needs and to immediately recall some of the previously furloughed workers. As a result of increasing the operating schedule to offset the pro- duction impact from the longwall move delay, the company reaffirms previously stated full-year 2017 guidance for the Pennsylvania Mining Complex: 25.6 million tons to 27.6 million tons and total coal capital expenditures of $112 million to $120 million. CONSOL Energy continues to work closely with the necessary agen- cies to obtain operating permits, which allow for continuity of longwall mining operations. The Pennsylvania Mining Complex operates five to- tal longwalls with approved permits as far out as 10 years in advance. Scrapers remove topsoil for Paringa Resources' Poplar Grove mine, the latest entrant in the Illinois Basin steam coal market. news Paringa Breaks Ground on New Poplar Grove Mine

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