SunCoke owns approximately 110 million tons of proven and probable coal reserves in Virginia and West Virginia.
In the past, SunCoke has supplied met coal from its captive mines to some of its domestic cokemaking plants that include Jewell Coal & Coke in Vansant; Indiana Harbor in Indiana; Middletown and Haverhill in Ohio; and Granite City in Illinois. The company operates the Kentucky Coal Terminal on the Big Sandy River near Catlettsburg and the Quincy Coal Terminal on the Kanawha River near Belle, West Virginia.
Altogether, the coke fleet is projected to turn out about 4.3 million tons of coke in 2015, similar to previous forecasts.
In 2015, SunCoke’s five operating mines are expected to produce about 600,000 tons of coal. Another 500,000 tons or so will be purchased from third parties. SunCoke’s mines produced about 1.2 million tons in 2014 before Dominion 36 was idled last December and Dominion 30 was shuttered in February 2015. The mines produced about 1.5 million tons in 2013.
The seven mines have been on the block for nearly a year, and SunCoke elected to keep all of them running for much of 2014 while sale negotiations were at their peak. SunCoke did receive offers from unidentified prospective buyers but was unable to reach a final agreement with price being a major obstacle.
“We’re still looking for a buyer,” Carlson said. “In the meantime, we’re providing coal to our Jewell Coke operations via coal purchased from third parties and the contracted mines, which gives us the flexibility on sourcing and helps us maintain the right coal blend for Jewell Coke.”
SunCoke recorded a $2 million loss from continuing operations in the first quarter of 2015 as total revenue fell 32% to $320.4 million from $352.5 million a year earlier. Loss from discontinued operations, including its coal mining business, was $2 million in the January-March period.
“While we continue to pursue a strategic exit from our coal mining business, we are executing on our previously announced coal rationalization plan by implementing a contract mining model, eliminating positions and purchasing coal from third-party providers,” the company said in an earnings statement on April 23.