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Third-quarter production numbers show booming Alabama met coal industry

Third-quarter production numbers released last week show that Alabama’s major metallurgical coal mines are booming, including both of Warrior Met Coal’s mines.

According to renowned financial analytics giant S&P Global, “Warrior Met Coal’s third-quarter production at its two coking coal mines in Alabama saw strong year-on-year growth, following growth at key regional longwall mines.”

Warrior’s impressive growth came despite two planned longwall moves during the quarter. S&P explained, “Longwall moves at coal mines usually [lead] to production stoppages and ramp-up delays, as equipment is moved around and reassigned for shearing new panels.”

According to data released by the US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), total coking coal production at Warrior’s two mines rose to 1.82 million short tons from 1.62 million a year earlier.

A majority of this growth came from Warrior’s Mine Number Four. The company said it has seen strong demand for its coal in Europe, Brazil and, increasingly, in new markets.

This was reaffirmed by a leading global securities firm last Wednesday.

“We view the production report as bullish for the stock, Mine No. 7 posted production of 1.24 million st (up 9% year on year), while Mine No. 4 produced 581,067 st (up 21% year on year),” Seaport Global analysts said of Warrior Met Coal (NYSE: HCC).

Seaport added that it expects the higher than expected third-quarter production rates at the two Warrior mines to drive earnings increases for the rest of the year for the company.

Also in Alabama, Oak Grove mine saw 375,143 short tons in third-quarter output, doubling its rates from a year earlier. Mission Coal operates this mine for the owner, Seneca Coal.

Then, at Drummond Company’s Shoal Creek mine (which is being sold to Peabody Energy), production rose to 661,317 short tons in the third quarter, up significantly from 341,458 short tons one year ago.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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