During the first quarter of 2016, the mine near Clairfield in Claiborne County is expected to undergo a quick ramp-up, according to George Dethlefsen, the company’s president and CEO.
Although Cooper Ridge technically produces steam coal, usually sold to electric utilities, its quality will enable Corsa to sell into the industrial and specialty coal market, he said. Dethlefsen declined to disclose Cooper Ridge’s projected output, although another company official last year indicated the mine will produce about 200,000 tons a year. Cooper Ridge is operated by Corsa’s Kopper Glo Mining subsidiary.
The company’s Casselman underground mine in Garrett County, Maryland, meanwhile, has successfully completed a challenging geologic transition under the Casselman River.
Despite a challenging coal pricing environment in 2015, Corsa achieved positive adjusted EBITDA at its CAPP and Northern Appalachian (NAPP) divisions. The company expected to sell between 1.67 million and 1.81 million tons of steam and metallurgical coal in 2015, down from previous projections of more than 2 million tons. Corsa sold 1.64 million tons in 2014.
Currently, the company operates two underground and two surface mines in CAPP and two underground and two surface mines in NAPP.
In early 2015, Corsa idled the Kimberly Run and Barbara No. 2 underground mines in Pennsylvania, primarily because of weak market conditions. Kimberly Run and Barbara were among several former PBS Coals operations Corsa took over in August 2014 after paying $60 million to buy them from Russia’s OAO Severstal.
Kimberly Run and Barbara subsequently have been sealed. While inactive, the Horning underground mine in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, has not been sealed.
Last May, Corsa restarted the Quecreek No. 1 underground mine in Somerset County after securing a long-term steam coal sales contract that allowed Corsa to economically mine its steam and met coal reserve base.