Trump to Nominate Zatezalo to Lead MSHA

On September 2, U.S. President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate David G. Zatezalo of West Virginia to be the assistant secretary of labor for Mine Safety and Health. Prior to his retirement as chairman of Rhino Resources GP LLC in late 2014, Zatezalo had served as president and CEO, and was previously COO of Rhino as well as president of Hopedale Mining LLC.

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McCoy Elkhorn Gains Approvals for Extended Cuts


American Resources Corp., through its wholly owned subsidiary Quest Energy and McCoy Elkhorn Coal, has received federal approval from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to take extended cuts on its first super section at McCoy Elkhorn’s Mine No. 15. The approval allows for an increased cut depth from 20 feet to 32 feet within the Glamorgan/Millard coal seam. Production from Mine No. 15 is belted directly into Quest Energy’s McCoy Elkhorn Coal Bevins Branch processing and load-out facilities, enabling cost-effective logistics, processing and blending capabilities, and sold in the High-Vol B metallurgical markets.

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Mongolian Coal Exports Into China Increase

The demand for Mongolian coal continues to increase and having a neighbor, China, that is the world’s largest coal consumer helps. In the first six months of 2017, according to the Xinhua news agency, Mongolia sold 10 million tons to China, an increase of 14% from the same period last year. Most of the coal moves into China through the Gashuunsukhait-Gants mod border checkpoints. A modernization program at the border checkpoint has played a role in reducing delays. Mongolia’s largest coal exporter, Tavan Tolgoi, plans to increase the volume of its transportation to 11.5 million tons of coal this year.

Murray Energy Sues CSX Over Service Delays

On August 1, Murray Energy Corp. (MEC) announced it had filed two lawsuits against CSX Transportation Inc. The first lawsuit was filed by MEC and alleges that CSX failed to provide reliable service to the company as agreed upon and scheduled by MEC and CSX, and seeks to recover the resulting damages. The second lawsuit was filed by subsidiary companies of Foresight Energy LP, an affiliate of MEC. These lawsuits are in addition to the proceedings taking place before the Surface Transportation Board (STB), which remain ongoing.

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Indiana Utilities See Steam Coal Supplies Falling

Steam coal inventories were falling for most Indiana electric utilities at the start of summer, suggesting a few months of hot, steamy weather — typical for the region — could induce them back into the market, at least for spot supplies, before the onset of winter.
Northern Indiana Public Service Co. was not experiencing any coal supply issues due to the financial struggles of some coal producers, Michael Eckert, senior utility analyst for the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), told Indiana regulators in late June.

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