The cover story this month (Dragline Restoration, see p. 37) documents how North American Coal moved a dragline across several states. They not only reassembled and restored this massive mining machine to its former glory, they empowered it with new systems that will make it more productive. The dragline has an improved power source, high-horsepower motors, sophisticated electronics and an advanced interface that lets many people, not just the operator, interact with it.

In a lot of ways, Coal Age tries to do something similar. Each month, it offers its readership an improved source of power in the form of information. In addition to industry analysis, many articles contain ideas on how to operate more safely, efficiently and cost effectively. The magazine is organized in a format that appeals to all segments, underground and surface mining, coal preparation, transportation, and utilization.

Coal Age delivers this must-read content to its subscribers through several outlets. All of this content is immediately available at in a slick, searchable format. Readers can also view a digital edition on the website. A total of 18 digital editions, along with other special editions, are also available in the archive. Coal Age’s editorial team updates the website frequently with news stories, which are tweeted instantly before being compiled weekly and emailed free of charge to readers in a newsletter format (Coal Age eNews). Readers can subscribe to the eNewsletter on the Coal Age website.

Beyond traditional print and the new forms of digital delivery, Coal Age will also produce three conferences this year. Catering to surface mine operators, Haulage & Loading is held every two years at the Wigwam Resort in Phoenix. The event takes places May 18-20. This year, the conference program is nothing short of phenomenal . Approximately two-thirds of coal mined in the U.S. is mined by surface mining methods. Pittsburgh hosts Longwall USA, which also takes place every two years. The three-day event will be June 16-18 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Longwall mining is a specialized form of underground coal mining, which also relies on continuous miners for development. The program this year includes several presentations from leading longwall operators. Last month, Coal Age reported that U.S. longwall operators were doing well in general, and Longwall USA 2015 is expected to have a huge turnout. Coal Handling & Storage takes place October 5-7 in St. Louis. It focuses on the logistics of delivering coal from the mine to the power plant or steel mill.

All three of these events offer education tracks with professional development hours. In addition to the continuing education, they also offer professionals involved in mining, processing, transportation and utilization a chance to engage with their peers. It’s true, coal leaders are navigating through an uncertain period. Those who are committed to the coal business are making an investment for the future and Coal Age will be there.


Steve Fiscor, Coal Age Editor-in-Chief