Company officials were optimistic for further 2013 growth margins. “ARLP came out of the gate strong in 2013, posting solid increases,” said CEO Joseph W. Craft III. “Our Q1 results have us on track for a 13th consecutive year of record operating and financial performance.”

The longwall operation at ARLP’s Tunnel Ridge mine, which began production last year, along with increases at Gibson North, River View, Warrior and Pattiki mines, in particular, drove Q1 sales to 9.7 million tons at a 24.1% year-on-year increase. Total average sales prices for Q1 increased slightly over Q1 2012 to $55.12/ton.

The Onton and Tunnel Ridge mines also contributed to record production of 9.8 million tons with an increase of 15.4% over Q1 2012. Higher sales and production volumes led to associated costs for materials, labor expenses and maintenance, all driving operating expenses of Q1 higher by 27.4% to $348.6 million over Q1 2012.