Alpha Metallurgical Resources, Inc. recently announced two separate operational challenges. While the company said both issues have been substantially resolved, they are expected to delay certain shipments that would have otherwise occurred within the second quarter of 2023.
Due to a ventilation issue likely stemming from a previously mined and worked-out area, the Road Fork 52 mine in Wyoming County, W.Va., temporarily halted production as a safety precaution while the issue was analyzed and addressed. The company said ventilation adjustments were made, and acceptable air quality levels were re-established in the mine, which is now back in operation and expected to ramp back up toward full capacity soon.
Alpha said that its operations teams coordinated with the applicable regulatory agencies, as required, and no injuries or citations were incurred. The temporary shutdown of production at Road Fork 52 lasted approximately six days. Alpha expects to be able to make up the lost production in the third quarter.
The Dominion Terminal Associates (DTA) facility in Newport News, Va., in which Alpha holds a 65% ownership stake, has also contributed to an expected delay in Alpha’s coal shipments. At DTA, one of the stacker/reclaimer machines experienced a mechanical failure that caused it to be inoperable for a period of approximately three days while it was repaired. This timeframe of inoperability hampered train unloading capability and created related vessel loading delays for roughly 250,000 tons of Alpha shipments for export customers. With the repairs complete and all systems operating as normal, the stacker/reclaimer is now back to full capacity. Alpha said it expects to be able to fulfill these shipments in early July.
“Our teams safely and quickly addressed the separate issues at our Road Fork 52 mine and at DTA, bringing each unfortunate interruption to a positive conclusion in a relatively short period of time,” said Andy Eidson, Alpha’s CEO. “We have been in communication with our customers to explain these circumstances and reiterate our commitment to serving them. Now that we are working back toward full productive capacity at Road Fork 52, we expect to swiftly make up lost time with some extra shifts, and we are already rescheduling vessels at DTA in the early days of July.”