Coal Age

JAN-FEB 2019

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Page 8 of 51

January/February 2019 7 u.s. news continued share price of at least $1 and an aver- age closing share price of at least $1 over the 30-trading day period ending on the last trading day of that month. Trump Officially Nominates Wheeler to Lead EPA In mid-January, President Donald Trump formally nominated Andrew Wheeler, a former energy lobbyist who has led the Environmental Pro- tection Agency (EPA) in an acting ca- pacity for six months, to serve as EPA administrator. The White House said Trump had sent Wheeler's nomination to the Senate, making good on a promise he madie in November. "For me, there is no greater re- sponsibility than protecting human health and the environment," Wheeler said in an emailed statement. "I look forward to carrying out this essential task on behalf of the American public." Blankenberger Brothers Moves Forward With ILB Mine After several years of planning, Indi- ana-based Blankenberger Brothers Inc. finally appears ready this year to move ahead with construction on the newest steam coal mine in the high-sulfur Illinois Basin (ILB). President Donnie Blankenberg- er said in early January that the new underground mine will be built near Oatsville in Pike County, Indiana, his- torically one of southern Indiana's leading coal-producing counties. The mine will be developed by Blanken- berger's BB Mining subsidiary, which has mined previously in the region, and could produce up to 3 million tons per year (tpy). Blankenberger, an excavation company based in Cynthiana, Indi- ana, has been waiting for the U.S. coal market to improve. While there have been signs of some improvements on the domestic front, including the ad- dition of 3,000 mining jobs, during the administration of Republican Presi- dent Donald Trump, the export market essentially has been where the action is during the past year or so. And it is forecast to remain strong in 2019. That's a main reason why Blan- kenberger is eyeing the seaborne market for the sale of at least some of the mine's 11,300-11,500 Btu/lb, 6 lb SO 2 /MMBtu in seams with an aver- age thickness of seven feet. The mine is expected to draw upon an estimat- ed 35 million tons of reserves for- merly owned by IPALCO Enterprises, once the main owner of Indianapolis Power & Light Co. (IP&L) IP&L now is owned by AES Corp. of Arlington, Virginia. Blankenberger is in discus- top 10 coal-producing states and regions weekly spot prices (Thousands of Short Tons) Week Ending (12/28/18) YTD '19 YTD '18 % Change Wyoming 301,172 315,295 -4.5 West Virginia 96,391 92,461 4.3 Pennsylvania 48,947 48,950 s Illinois 48,790 48,133 1.4 Kentucky 39,278 41,659 -5.7 Montana 38,146 35,087 8.7 Indiana 33,911 31,358 8.1 North Dakota 29,930 28,676 4.4 Texas 26,692 36,236 -26.3 Alabama 14,621 12,815 14.1 Appalachian Total 200,369 197,698 1.4 Interior Total 136,559 144,765 -5.7 Western Total 413,521 429,266 -3.7 U.S. Total 750,449 771,729 -2.8 ($/ton) Week Ending (1/25/19) Central Appalachia (12,500 Btu, 1.2 SO 2 ) $79.50 Northern Appalachia (13,000 Btu, < 3.0 SO 2 ) $67.70 Illinois Basin (11,800 Btu, 5.0 SO 2 ) $38.95 Powder River Basin (8,800 Btu, 0.8 SO 2 ) $13.10 Uinta Basin (11,700 Btu, 0.8 SO 2 ) $40.10 Source: Energy Information Administration monthly stats from coal country U.S. News Continued on Page 11

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