Coal Age

JAN-FEB 2019

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January/February 2019 5 leading developments continued ita electricity consumption of a little more than 800 kilowatt hours. New coal plants under construction will be the main driver of coal demand growth in the above-named coun- tries. Other countries with higher per capita electricity use, like Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, have energy mix diversification policies that support new coal plants. China's coal use represented 60% of its primary energy demand in 2017 and 67% of its electricity demand. IEA assumes that the Chinese economy is in a structural transformation and that its electricity intensity will decline over time, stopping further growth in coal power generation by 2020 with overall coal demand slowly declining at less than 1% per year on average. In 2017, Chinese coal imports grew by 15 million metric tons, and other large importers either had record im- ports (Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Philip- pines, Pakistan, Turkey, and Vietnam) or near record imports (Chile, Japan, Thailand). Further growth is expect- ed in 2018 in China and India making seaborne thermal coal trade reach close to 1 billion metric tons. Thus, the future of coal imports is in south and Southeast Asian demand. Growth is expected in India, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Pakistan, and other Asian countries. Australia is the expected leader in coal export markets, followed by Indonesia. IEA, however, expects In- donesian coal exports to decline due to increasing domestic demand and lower prices, leaving Australia as the largest coal exporter in the world. IEA also expects increasing exports from the Russian Federation, which is ramping up export infrastructure and targeting the Asian markets. The IEA expects the United States to remain a swing supplier of coal exports. IEA expects coal to remain a dom- inant global fuel through at least the next 5 years as developing countries continue to build coal-fired plants to improve their economies and pro- vide electricity to their people. Coal demand growth is expected to be the highest in South and Southeast Asia with many of those countries large coal importers. Australia is ex- pected to be the largest coal export- er while the United States remains a swing supplier. 2018 US Mining Fatalities Were Second Lowest on Record In 2018, the U.S. Department of La- bor's Mine Safety and Health Ad- ministration (MSHA) reported that 27 mining fatalities occurred — the second lowest number ever record- ed. Eighteen fatalities occurred at surface operations; nine occurred in underground mines. Approximately 250,000 miners work across 12,000 U.S. metal/nonmetal mines, and 83,000 miners work in the nation's 1,200 coal mines. The leading cause of fatalities was powered haulage, which ac- counted for 13 fatalities or (48%) of the annual total. The agency said it has taken action to counter pow- ered-haulage fatalities, including publishing a Request for Informa- tion seeking stakeholder input on technologies and practices that can improve safety conditions related to mobile equipment and belt convey- ors. MSHA also launched a campaign to educate miners and mine opera- tors on the hazards associated with such equipment. As of 2019, MSHA no longer separ- ates coal and metal/nonmetal fatal- ities in this space. In 2017 and 2016, the fatality rates for U.S. miners were 28 and 25, respectively. Production Halts at Donkin Coal Mine Kameron Collieries, an affiliate of The Cline Group, and owner/operator of the Donkin coal mine in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, temporarily suspended production at Donkin due to a roof collapse in an older part of the mine. The incident occurred on December 28, during Kameron's scheduled hol- iday shutdown and no workers were injured. Kameron has been directed by the Nova Scotia Department of La- bor to review a variety of engineering and operational measures designed to monitor, control and prevent future mine roof falls. Production at Donkin is expected to resume after Kameron and government inspectors are satis- fied that the appropriate measures are in place. The company said its top pri- ority is the safety of its 128 employees and contractors, and it will resume operations as soon as practicable. Kameron continues to make pro- ductivity improvements. In Decem- ber, it installed a Flexible Conveyor Train (FCT) coal haulage system to replace part of Donkin's shuttle car fleet. It is expected to significantly increase production volumes in 2019 once production resumes. Production at Donkin is anticipat- ed to reach annual sales volumes of 2.7 million metric tons (mt) to 3 mil- lion mt over the next two years. While it is assumed that production at Donkin will resume in a timely man- ner, the timing of production recom- mencement is unknown at present and may delay the rate of production increases, the company said. Westmoreland Sells Ohio Assets to CCU Coal and Construction The winning bidder for Westmoreland Coal's Ohio mining assets was CCU Coal and Construction LLC, owned by Charles Ungurean, according to filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. These assets include the Buckingham and Oxford mines. It was determined that Ungure- an's bid was the highest, the best and "only viable proposal to acquire the Buckingham mine that included cash consideration," according to court documents. Leading Developments Continued on Page 10

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