Blaschak Coal Corp., one of the country’s top anthracite producers, has achieved record sales tonnage for 2018. The company’s prepared coal sales were more than 382,000 tons in 2018 — up from the previous sales record set in 2014, which clocked in at 374,000.

The primary drivers behind the sales growth were increased demand from metallurgical process industries, the home heating sector and the food services market — namely coal-fired pizza, according to Blaschak.

“We are more than thrilled with the record sales numbers we achieved this past year,” said Greg Driscoll, president and CEO of Blaschak Coal Corp. “While we’ve seen demand in traditional markets driving current sales levels, the continued interest in the presence of Rare Earth Elements (REE) in anthracite and other related materials, and the potential for growth in other carbon-related markets, which has fostered a number of new projects, are also positive signs for the future of anthracite.”

“At Blaschak, we are encouraged by this record, and see it as a sign of continued growth for us and the local industry,” he added. “There is a significant remaining reserve of this valuable resource.”

Driscoll believes the Pennsylvania anthracite industry will continue to serve existing markets, and that new markets are emerging.

“Even though record regional rainfall provided challenges to mining activities across the industry in 2018, increased demand for our high-quality anthracite products drove strong overall performance,” Driscoll added. “We remain committed to being a leader in safe and responsible operating practices while increasing capacity, providing excellent customer service and exploring new market applications.”