Blue Gem coal, characterized by its low ash and sulfur contents as well as its hardness, is found exclusively in several southeastern Kentucky counties. Because of its purity, the coal often is exported to many different countries. New Century claims to be one of the largest reserve holders of Blue Gem coal, controlling in excess of 10 million tons of reserves. New Century said its coal is shipped to several countries, including Korea, Poland and China.

Dallas McRae, New Century president, said his company has positioned itself over the past 36 months to become a leader in Blue Gem reserves. In May, the company secured an option on 2,000 acres in Kentucky’s Knox and Bell counties and is evaluating the acreage’s projected 5 million tons of reserves through core drillings.

New Century said it is focused on expanding its mining operations in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee through prospecting, leasing and mine production.