Coal Age

OCT 2018

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Page 19 of 51

18 October 2018 u.s. prep plant census 2018 2018 US Prep Plant Census Owners make investments to improve processing operations by steve fiscor, editor For the most part, the updates to the 2018 U.S. Prep Plant Census reveal no major swings as far as the general population. Af- ter years of turmoil and decline, the indus- try has stabilized. There was, however, a significant amount of name changes. One new plant was added, Paringa Resources' Poplar Grove plant in Kentucky. This year began with Murray Energy acquiring a bankrupt Armstrong Energy. The company purchased its five mines and three prep plants. The Midway, Arm- strong Dock and Parkway plants were placed under an affiliate now known as Murray Kentucky Energy. More recently, Contura Energy and Al- pha Natural Resources announced plans to remerge. The transaction was expect- ed to be completed soon. The companies said they would retain the Contura Ener- gy name for the Alpha properties, which means that three plants in Kentucky — Long Fork, Martin County and Sidney — are now listed under Contura Energy. Sim- ilarly, seven Alpha plants in West Virginia (Black Castle, Delbarton, Kepler, Kingston, Mammoth, Marfork and Rum Creek) were placed under Contura Energy. Peabody Energy purchased the Shoal Creek operation from Drummond in Ala- bama. Bowie Resources changed its name to Wolverine Fuels and that change is re- flected in Colorado and Utah. Foreign Investments Paringa Resources Ltd., an emerging U.S. energy provider with financial backing from Australia, is developing the Buck Creek Mine Complex in western Kentucky. The complex includes two fully permitted thermal coal mines: the Poplar Grove mine with planned production of 2.8 million tons per year (tpy) and the Cypress mine with planned production of 3.8 million tpy. Construction is well-advanced at the Pop- Paringa Resources erects the Poplar Grove prep plant in western Kentucky.

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