On the heels of record output from its first anthracite mine in the United States, the Stockton surface operation in Luzerne County, Pa., British-based Atlantic Coal plc is actively developing a second opencast anthracite mine about 25 miles away in the Keystone state.
Stockton produced a record 161,529 tons of clean coal and had sales of more than 140,000 tons in 2012, easily eclipsing 2011 production and sales of 100,000 tons and 106,000 tons, respectively. Stockton’s improvement strengthened Atlantic’s revenues to nearly $14 million in 2012 and resulted in a net group profit of more than $4 million.
In the first quarter of 2013, Stockton produced and sold more than 53,000 tons of clean coal, a 67% increase over its year-earlier output, placing it on track to turn out more than 200,000 for the entire year. Sales for the first three months of 2013 were up 91% from a year ago.
Atlantic decided this spring to advance development of its second mine, at the 410-acre Pott & Bannon site. Like Stockton, the Pott & Bannon mine will produce coal from the high quality Mammoth seam. Atlantic believes the site could contain up to 13.6 million tons of run-of-mine coal, equating to approximately 4.1 tons of washed, saleable anthracite.
“We will be actively pursuing an early route to production,” Atlantic said in May. “We have agreed…to use our best endeavors to deploy mining equipment at the property to achieve a minimum production” of 400,000 tons of run-of-mine coal in a year or so, providing market conditions warrant such a level of production.
Atlantic calls its acquisition of the Pott & Bannon reserves earlier this year a “transformational transaction” for the company.
Stockton is operated by Coal Contractors Inc., an Atlantic subsidiary. It is unclear if Coal Contractors also will operate the new mine. All of Stockton’s coal is sold in the U.S.