The numbers of overall faces drops by two, but production increases by nearly 10%
The U.S. coal industry saw overall production grow in 2017 and so did America’s longwall mine operators. After two consecutive years of decline, total longwall production experienced a substantial increase. Collectively, U.S. longwall installations produced 167.8 million tons in 2017, a 9.5% increase over the 153.2 million tons produced in 2016. While this is a positive signal, the sector remains well below the 207-million-ton level it achieved in 2014.
The total number of longwall faces dropped from 44 to 42. That figure includes two tronah mines in Wyoming. Two longwall faces were removed: American Coal’s New Future mine in Illinois and Ohio Valley’s Powhatan No. 6 in Ohio. Year-on-year, the total number of longwall mines dropped from 39 to 37 as five mines operated two longwall faces each.
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