“When combined with our current coal production in West Virginia, Alabama and Queensland, Australia, Cliffs estimates 2011 global equity production capacity of approximately 9 million tons at a split of approximately 7 million tons met and 2 million tons thermal,” said Joseph A. Carrabba, chairman, president and CEO, Cliffs. “We currently anticipate expanding INR’s production of high-vol met coal to 2.4 million tons by 2012, increasing Cliffs total future global equity coal production capacity to nearly 11 million tons split at 8 million tons met and 3 million tons thermal.”
The acquisition includes a metallurgical and thermal coal mining complex with a state-of-the-art coal preparation and processing facility located in southern West Virginia. This includes a reserve base with an estimated 68 million tons of met coal and 51 million tons of thermal coal. This reserve base would increase Cliffs’ total global reserve base to more than 175 million tons of met coal and more than 57 million tons of thermal coal.
All of INR’s currently operating and near-term development mines are fully permitted for life of mine, which equates to approximately one-third of the reserve base. Under its long-term operating plans, Cliffs would not anticipate a need to bring additional newly permitted mines online prior to 2017.
INR’s coal operations have established customer relationships and in 2009 approximately half of INR’s production was exported. While a vast majority of remaining 2010 production is under contract, production in 2011 and beyond remains largely open. High-vol met coal volume in 2011 is expected to reach 1.7 million tons, of which 200,000 tons are committed and priced at $100/ton f.o.b. mine. Total 2011 production of thermal coal is expected to reach 1.2 million tons, of which 500,000 tons are committed and priced at $66/ton fob mine.
Assuming current market pricing of approximately $140/ton and $75/ton ton fob mine for uncommitted high-vol met and thermal coal production, respectively, and expected cash costs of approximately $70/ton, the acquisition is expected to contribute significantly to Cliffs’ revenue and earnings. In 2011, Cliffs anticipates this business will generate approximately $300 million in revenue and $100 million in EBITDA. Using increased volumes and similar pricing and cost assumptions, in 2012 Cliffs expects this business to generate more than $400 million in revenue and approximately $175 million in EBITDA.
Cliffs indicated that INR’s expected 2010 production is split equally between metallurgical and thermal coal products. The metallurgical/thermal coal mix is expected to shift to increased metallurgical coal production with a percentage split of approximately 65/35 in future years based on current production plans.
INR’s operations include two room-and-pillar mines producing met coal, the Powellton and Chilton-Dingess mines and one surface mine, the Toney Fork No. 2 mine. In addition to these mines, INR is currently working on several other development projects within this same complex which Cliffs will actively pursue.
INR’s operations also include a state-of-the-art coal preparation and processing facility completed in 2008, along with a new 110-car unit-train batch-weight load out facility with access to the CSX railroad.