Coal Age

MAY 2018

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4 May 2018 news Warrior Met Opens New Mine No. 7 North Portal b r e a k i n g n e w s US Judge Blocks Oakland Port's Ban on Coal Shipments On Tuesday, May 15, a federal judge struck down a local ban prohibit- ing companies from transporting coal though an Oakland, California, export terminal that U.S. miners see as a key link to overseas markets. The ban enacted by the city in 2014 violates a development agreement, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said. At question was whether the coal ban violated an agreement between the developer of a bulk-loading terminal near the city's port, Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal LLC (OBOT), and the city of Oakland. Judge Chhabria said there was not enough evidence presented to the city council to support its conclusion that the proposed operations would pose a danger to people in the area. "In fact, the record is riddled with inaccuracies, major evidentiary gaps, erroneous assumptions, and faulty analyses, to the point that no reliable conclusion about health or safety dangers could be drawn from it," he said in his judgment. He added that the "only reason the city adopted it was to restrict OBOT's operations, and OBOT is the only facility in Oakland to which it could conceivably apply." Oakland is among several terminals in California and the Pacif- ic Northwest that environmentalists have pushed to close to miners in an effort to keep U.S. coal off the international market. Reversing the ban could increase exports substantially, especially from western U.S. coal operators in Montana, Utah and Wyoming.. The National Mining Association applauded the ruling. "It is grat- ifying to see a case where the judge ruled on the facts," Ashley Burke, a spokeswoman for the group, said in an email, according to Bloomberg. "Local governments, working with activist environmental groups, can- not be allowed to obstruct and steer interstate and foreign commerce decisions on behalf of the country." Warrior Met Coal held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 2 to dedicate the completion of the company's new No. 7 Mine North portal facility. The new $19 million North Portal facility provides a new gateway for 200 Warrior Met Coal miners to enter the north- ern sections of the mine. Designed for growth, it will accommo- date up to 500 underground employees, adding to both the safety and productivity of Warrior employees as it is put into use. The new portal eliminates 5.1 miles of travel underground each way for miners and is located 45 minutes closer to the sections in the North, saving travel time each day. "The opening of our new portal speaks strongly to Warrior Met Coal's commitment to maintaining safe working conditions for all of our employees, as well as our confidence in the met coal market in the months and years to come," said Walt Scheller, CEO of Warrior Met. The celebration comes on the heels of the company's second anniversary and it was also just a year ago in April that it became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. The new 33,000-plus-ft 2 portal features a bathhouse, two kitchen areas, 40 offices and training rooms in addition to a hoist system, which is double the capacity of the hoist currently in use at No. 7 West mine. The new 7 North hoist features a 40-ton ca- pacity, using the latest technology and operates at a speed of 900 feet per minute to traverse the 1,451-foot-deep shaft. The hoist will accommodate 70 people. "Our investment in this company has not only been in build- ings and infrastructure," Scheller said. "Our investment has also been in people. When we look back over the past year, the statis- tics show we've added 1,000 new people to our operations roster, and we are still hiring." "Our commitment to the industry and to the people who work in it does not end with the opening of the new portal facility," said Jack Richardson, COO of Warrior. "Our board has committed sig- nificant capital of $100 million to $120 million to reinvest in our mine infrastructure and equipment needs this year, positioning us well for future growth and improvement." "Operating safely is always the highest priority for our compa- ny," Scheller said. "We are committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all employees, and our continual reinforcement of safety culture helps to ensure that all employees return home safely to their families every day. The North Portal facility at No. 7 mine is another step evidencing and advancing that commitment." Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey cuts the ribbon on Wednesday, May 2 at 10 a.m. celebrating the completion of Warrior Met Coal's new No. 7 mine North portal facility.

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