In a March filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company reported 2010 earnings of $41.1 million compared with $19.5 million in 2009. Total revenues fell to $305.6 million last year from $419.8 million a year earlier because of a planned decrease in tons sold. Rhino sold 4.3 million tons in 2010, down from 6.7 million tons in 2009. Rhino said the drop was the result “of a strategic decision made in 2010 to sell only tons that were contracted at acceptable margins based on current market conditions and increased cost of operations.”

Coal revenues per ton for 2010 rose 12.2% to $67.32, up from $59.98 for the same period of 2009, mainly due to an increased percentage of metallurgical tons sold and higher contracted prices for steam coal.

David Zatezalo, Rhino president and CEO, called 2010 “a year of meaningful accomplishments” for the company. Besides the initial public offering in October that generated net proceeds of $68.3 million, Rhino acquired the Castle Valley mining complex in Utah in August as part of the C.W. Mining bankruptcy case, and additional property at its McClane Canyon mine in Colorado. Rhino also continued preparation and permitting for the Leesville field in Ohio.

Rhino failed to meet earnings expectations in the fourth quarter, however, because of unrelated rail constraints and persistent geological problems at Mine No. 28, a met coal operation in eastern Kentucky. For the three months ended December 31, 2010, the company earned $5.66 million versus $5.70 million in the comparable 2009 quarter.