Coal Age

FEB 2014

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Page 27 of 67

The total number of longwall mines, according to Coal Age's annual U.S. longwall census dropped by one to 48 from 49 last year. The U.S. coal industry now includes a total of 42 longwall mining operations with six mines operating two faces. Two of the longwall installations are non-coal mines cutting soft rock in Wyoming. CONSOL Energy is no longer the leading U.S. longwall producer. After it purchased five mines, which operated six faces, from CONSOL Energy, Murray Energy has emerged as the leading U.S. longwall opera- tor with 11 faces. CONSOL Energy now operates six longwall faces. Foresight Energy operates four longwall faces. Arch Coal sold three former Canyon Fuel Co. mines to Bowie Resource Partners (BRP), bringing Arch Coal's total down to three and raising BRP's total to three. Three new longwall installations were added and four were removed. Foresight Energy added a second face to the Sugar Camp mine in Illinois. Arch Coal brought the Leer mine into production in West Virginia. CONSOL Energy will soon bring the BMX into production in Pennsylvania. Walter Energy's North River mine in Alabama was removed. Oxbow Mining sealed the Elk Creek longwall in Colorado. BRP's Dugout Canyon mine in Utah no longer operates a longwall. Alpha Natural Resources' Revolution mine in West Virginia was also removed. With 13 faces, West Virginia remains the longwall leader, followed by Pennsylvania (8), Illinois (6), and Alabama (5). Looking at the numbers, the average U.S. longwall mine operating in coal produces 4.41 mil- lion tons per year (tpy). On average it has a cutting height of 91 in., a panel width (or face length) of 1,188 ft, and a panel length of 11,307 ft. Last year, those numbers were 90 in., 1,137 ft and 10,802 ft, respectively. A total of 18 longwalls operate in the Pittsburgh No. 8 seam. The maximum over- burden on average reaches 1,139 ft. Except for a few mines in Utah, most are developed with three-entry gates. Using a 1,786-hp double-drum, ranging-arm shearer, they take a 39-in. cut. The average yield setting on the shield is 1,042 tons. Most (43 faces) are high voltage (4,160 volts). As far as extremes, the deepest longwall mine is the West Ridge mine in Utah, oper- ating at a depth of 3,000 ft. The Powhatan No. 6 mine in Ohio operates the longest face: 1,650 ft. At 26,000 ft, the Mach mine in Illinois has the longest panel. The West Elk mine in Colorado and the SUFCO mine in Utah are operating 2,805-hp shearers. Ownership was the most significant change for the 2014 U.S. Longwall Census. Arch Coal sold its Dugout Canyon, Skyline and SUFCO mines in Utah to BRP. Murray Energy purchased all of the CONSOL Energy longwall mines operating in West Virginia. This transaction included the Blacksville No. 2 mine, the Loveridge mine, the McElroy mine (which operates two longwall faces), the Robinson Run mine and the Shoemaker mine. Murray Energy renamed all of these mines and placed them in a newly formed division, Murray American Energy. Blacksville No. 2 is now Monongalia County; Loveridge is Marion County; McElroy is Marshall County; Robinson Run is now Harrison County; and Shoemaker is Ohio County. With the acqui- sition, Murray Energy effectively swapped positions with CONSOL Energy as far as national rankings in total coal production and the total number of longwall faces. Building the Bowie Brand BRP surprised the coal business when it acquired the Canyon Fuel operations from Arch Coal last summer. "After acquiring the 26 February 2014 u . s . l o n g w a l l c e n s u s The Landscape for U.S. Longwalls Changes B Y S T E V E F I S C O R , E D I T O R - I N - C H I E F Three new longwalls were added in a year that witnessed major shifts in ownership Table 1—Longwall Installations, by Parent Company (2013-2014) Company Ala. Colo. Ill. Mont. N.M. Ohio Pa. Utah Va. W.Va. Wyo. Total Alliance Resource Partners 2 2 Alpha Natural Resources 3 3 AmCoal 2 2 American Energy 1 1 Arch Coal 1 2 3 BHP Billiton 1 1 Blue Mountain Energy 1 1 Bowie Resource Partners 1 2 3 Cliffs Natural Resources 1 1 2 CONSOL Energy 5 1 6 Drummond 1 1 Energy West 1 1 FMC Corp. 1 1 Foresight Energy 4 4 Murray American Energy 6 6 Ohio Valley Coal 1 1 Pacific Minerals 1 1 Patriot Coal 2 2 Peabody Energy 1 1 Signal Peak Energy 1 1 Solvay Chemicals 1 1 UtahAmerican Energy 1 1 Walter Energy 3 3 Total 5 4 6 1 1 2 8 4 1 13 3 48 CA_pg26-33_V3_CA_pg46-47 2/13/14 12:40 PM Page 26

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