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Coal Sector Remains Dynamic Despite Renewables Push

The coal sector is expected to remain “quite dynamic” over the next ten years, with a forecast of eventual rising prices despite a slowdown in production, a negative image and a strong push to clean energy, a new report by BMI Research shows.

Unpacking the global trends in coking and thermal coal production and consumption for the period 2018 to 2027, BMI forecasts that thermal coal prices will decline in 2019 before starting to rise steadily until 2027, while coking coal prices will decrease until 2021, when the prices will start to increase again.

The ‘Industry trend analysis: global forecast to 2027’ report indicates a short-term thermal price decline from an average of $89/t from 2008 to 2017 to an average of $80/t, owing to demand from emerging economies pushing the thermal market into steep deficits, along with a global push towards a low- carbon future, which will see more alternative sources of energy replacing coal, especially in developed markets.

Over the next decade, coking coal prices are expected to average $156/t, compared with the $165/t recorded over the preceding decade, owing to lower demand from a slowing steel industry.

However, BMI expects coking coal prices to increase from $145/t in 2023 to $165/t by 2027 and thermal coal prices from $80/t to $91/t over the same period.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com. 

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April US Coal Exports Surge to Highest Monthly Total Since 2013

US coal exports totaled 10.1 million mt in April, the highest monthly total since March 2013, according to new US Census data.

The monthly total was up 17.7% from March and 53.3% higher than the year-ago month.

Driven by strong seaborne prices, end-users are increasingly choosing to source metallurgical and thermal coal from the US. A possible petcoke ban in India also has led to a dramatic increase in US bituminous coal imports.

Met coal exports in April totaled 5.3 million mt, up 18.5% from the prior month and 27.7% from the year-ago month. It also was highest monthly total since March 2014.

Top met coal export destinations in April were Brazil, at 680,299 mt compared with 599,427 mt in the year-ago month; India, at 579,740 mt compared with 327,054 mt last year; and Ukraine, at 500,053 mt compared with 129,998 mt last year.

Met coal exports to China in April totaled 311,700 mt, compared with 341,964 mt last year.

Bituminous coal exports in January totaled 3.99 million mt, up 14.1% from March and 156.4% from last year. 

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com. 

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 Coal Industry Joins State Delegation in Cheering Trump Power Plant Order

West Virginia coal industry and business leaders are joining with the Mountain State’s congressional delegation in praising President Donald Trump’s order to keep coal-fired and nuclear power plants open.

“Without question, this is the best news in my 40-year career in the coal industry,” said Chris Hamilton, vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association and co-chairman of the West Virginia Coal Forum. “It’s bigger than big. Never before in the history of mining has our state and federal political leadership been able to achieve the benefits to coal that are embodied in the Trump-Justice plan.” 

Chris Hamilton 

The West Virginia Coal Forum is an organization representing business and labor in the coal industry.

On June 1, Trump ordered U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry to halt the shutdown of coal-fired and nuclear power plants in the interests of national security. Trump issued the order in part under the Defense Production Act, a Cold War-era law intended to protect the country’s power grid in times of war.

Gov. Jim Justice had been urging the president to keep coal-fired power plants open around the country in order to provide backup power to the power grid in times of emergency.

“I have been in constant dialogue and discussions for months with President Trump and Secretary Perry about this, and we embrace this good news from the White House and the fact that the Justice plan is now moving forward,” Justice said. “We’re not across the finish line yet, but we embrace this good news, and this certainly indicates that it is on its way.”

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Colowyo Coal Co. Prepares to Dig Into Expansion South of Craig, Colorado

Colowyo Coal Co. is preparing to begin mining from the new Collom Pit following a final stamp of approval from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The company expects to make the first box cut on the expansion in October, which is the first step in excavating the ground to get to the coal seams. Coal is expected to begin coming out of the pit in January.

Colowyo Coal Mine

In a presentation in Craig earlier this year, Colowyo leadership said there are 89 million tons of recoverable coal in 21 coal seams, ranging in thickness from two to 12 feet.

“The Collom Project can extend Colowyo’s operations up to another 35 years, so there are significant amounts of coal available to be recovered,” said Lee Boughey, a spokesperson for Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, the company that operates the mine.

The company has been developing infrastructure — including roads, transmission lines, culverts and water pipelines — in the area of the new pit since April 2017. The remaining infrastructure is expected to be complete by October and includes a coal-crushing plant, water storage facility and 5.5-mile haul road to carry coal out of the pit.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com. 

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 Bluestone Coal to Reopen Met Mine as Export, Domestic Demand Boom

Fueled by strong export and domestic demand for metallurgical coal, Bluestone Coal is reopening an underground mine in West Virginia in July and hiring 250 employees for all of its met coal operations in the state, CEO Jay Justice said Thursday.

Once all the new hires are on board, Bluestone's production is expected to increase from 2 million st today to about 3.3 million st, according to Justice, whose father, Jim, is the Republican governor of West Virginia.

Jim Justice

Bluestone currently sells about 70% of its low-vol and mid-vol met coal into the export market, with the remaining 30% marketed domestically, Justice said in an interview with S&P Global Platts.

The company's two surface mines, Red Fox near Bishop, West Virginia, and 39A near Keystone, West Virginia, produce mid-vol and low-vol met coal, respectively. The two active underground mines, Paycar No. 58 near Keystone and the No. 57 mine near Kimball, West Virginia, produce low-vol met coal. 

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com. 

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