The proposed JV, called Encore Global Commodities LLC, will be a marketing entity both domestically and internationally and will focus on met, thermal and specialty products from Rhino’s portfolio.

The two are now in a 60-day period of due diligence to review and finalize their respective involvement in Encore.

Joe Funk, president and CEO of Rhino’s general partner, said that the JV could become a significant marketing entity for all of its coal, and help to build strong direct ties with customers.

“The Encore joint venture with AMCI has the potential to broaden and expand the reach of Rhino’s coals, in addition to moving our production into historically underserved and under-utilized markets,” he added. “AMCI’s experience, expertise and global relationships with customers should provide Rhino with a substantial opportunity to grow our sales and cash flow through a joint venture framework.”

Patrick Valentine, managing director of Ion Carbon, added, “Encore will be positioned to take advantage of the complementary experience and strength of the two partners; allowing Rhino to tap into AMCI’s global presence as needed and on a mostly variable cost basis. This is the way to thrive and grow in today’s environment.”

The proposed JV is thanks to the new owner of Rhino’s general partner and partnership majority stakeholder Royal Energy Resources, Inc.