Coal Age

DEC 2012

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news continued tract in Ohio County Circuit Court in Hartford. The litigation is in the discovery phase and a ruling is not expected until sometime in 2013, barring an out-of-court settlement. Oxford, which typically produces about 8 million tons of coal annually, continues to operate a couple of surface mines in Muhlenberg County, Ky. The stage is set for Oxford to develop several of the new, smaller surface mines it prefers, especially in Ohio, thanks to the receipt through November of 10 new mining permits. According to Ungurean, Oxford's sales book was fully committed and priced for the remainder of 2012 and 97% committed and priced for 2013, "illustrating the strength of Oxford's long-term customer relationships." Federal Appeals Court Upholds Discimination Decision The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10 th Circuit has rejected an appeal by Cordero Mining LLC of Gillette, Wyo., in a worker discrimination case and affirmed a December 2011 decision by an administrative law judge of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. In that decision, the judge ordered Cordero Mining to reinstate a discharged employee to her former position, make her whole for lost wages and benefits, remove from her personnel files references to the unlawful discharge and pay a civil penalty of $40,000. In May 2010, Cindy L. Clapp, a shovel operator with 28 years of experience as a miner, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Commission alleging that Cordero terminated her employment in retaliation for her repeated safety complaints. Clapp claimed that her unlawful discharge had a chilling effect on the willingness of other miners to raise safety issues at the mine. MSHA sought a finding from the commission that Cordero unlawfully discriminated against an employee in violation of Section 105(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, which states that miners, miners' representatives and applicants for employment are protected from retaliation for engaging in safety and/or health-related activities, such as identifying hazards or asking for MSHA inspections. In December 2011, an administrative law judge of the commission concluded that Clapp had engaged in protected activities under the Mine Act, and Cordero had discharged her in retaliation for her activities. Cordero then filed an appeal with the commission, which declined to review the judge's decision. Cordero filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. In its decision, the appeals court found substantial evidence to support the administrative law judge's finding of discrimination and his decision to award full back pay. In addition, the court found that the $40,000 penalty was not excessive or an abuse of discretion. Cordero has until December 31, 2012, to petition the court for a rehearing. Landree Mine Begins Producing in Indiana VHGI Coal Co. was producing and shipping high-sulfur steam coal this fall from the new Landree underground mine in southwestern Indiana. Lily Group, which sold the mine to Fort December 2012 Continued from pg 20... Nunavut Coal licenses. Tetra Tech will also evaluate coal-to-liquids and coal water slurry technologies in order to assess the possible future use of the company's high grade thermal coal deposits as an alternative energy source in Nunavut. These technologies have the potential to create a diesel like product that can be easily transported and used in Nunavut. JSPL to Begin Coal Export from Mozambique by January 2013 Jindal Power & Steel Ltd. has begun producing coal at its mine in Mozambique during November, with first exports expected by January next year, Reuters reported. JSPL initially plans to produce and ship 1.3 million metric tons (mt) of coal, ramping up to 10 million mt over three to four years, with potential to double that in the future. The mine will produce both coking coal and thermal coal. The company's mine is not linked to the Sena railway line which Vale SA and Rio Tinto Group are using to transport coal to the port at Beira, so Jindal plans to use trucks over 100 km to link up with the Sena line. The refurbishment of the Sena line to handle 6.5 million mt of coal a year has been delayed, forcing Vale to curtail production and exports this year. ENRC Announces Plans for a Railroad in Mozambique Kazakh mining group ENRC plans to build a railroad in order to carry coal from its concession in Mozambique's central Tete province to the Port of Nacala on the Indian Ocean, Macauhub reported. During the Coaltrans conference held in the Mozambican capital, Paul Craven, ERNC Coal Africa director, said construction of the railroad would begin in the first quarter of 2014 in order to start operating at the end 2015 or beginning of 2016. The railroad would have an initial transport capacity of 60 million metric tons per year (mtpy) that could be expanded to 100 million mtpy if needed. The project announced by the ENRC group will be the second railroad to link Tete province to the Port of Nacala, the first of which is by Brazilian group Vale which is investing $4.4 billion in a line that will pass through Malawi and in modernization and expansion of the Port of Nacala. The Nacala deep water port, which allows Panamax ships to moor there, is the best location for exporting coal from Mozambique, unlike the Port of Beira, which needs permanent dredging in order for larger ships to use it. Thermal Coal Terminal Proposed for Fraser River A new coal exporting facility to ship thermal coal from the U.S. Midwest to offshore markets is under review by Port Metro Vancouver, Reuters reported. Fraser Surrey Docks has applied to the port for approval to develop part of its 63 hectare site on the south side of the Fraser River near New Westminster to transfer coal brought in by rail from Wyoming. The coal is to be loaded directly onto barges and towed by tug to Texada Island, where it would be transferred into storage. The coal would then be loaded onto ocean going freighters at a deepwater facility on the island's west side. Fraser Surrey Docks anticipates receiving shipments totalling 4 million metric tons per year (mtpy), with the potential to increase that to 8 million mtpy over the long term. ˛ 21

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