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Ramaco Resources met coal market strong as steam coal declines - Mr Atkins

Coal News - Published on Tue, 30 Oct 2018

Image Source: Investor Relations Solutions reported that mines that supply coal to power plants are hurting. But there's one segment of the coal industry that's doing fairly well now, and that's metallurgical coal. Met coal is used to make coke, which itself is an ingredient in making steel. Met coal is a proxy for the steel industry, which itself is an indicator for what's happening in the overall economy, says Mr Randall Atkins, chairman of Ramaco Resources, a coal mining company based in Lexington, Kentucky.

Mr Atkins said in a recent telephone interview "At the moment, the world is in pretty good shape economically. As a result, there's a fairly sustained demand for steel. That has caused a fairly steady demand for met coal."

Mr Atkins has been familiar with the Appalachian coal industry for years, having moved in and out of it during his career. He worked in the coal business of Ashland Inc. in the 1970s. In fact, his father was Orrin Atkins, Ashland Oil's CEO from 1965 to 1981.

In this region, met coal is mined in southern West Virginia, while eastern Kentucky, northern West Virginia and southeastern Ohio tend to produce steam coal, which is used in power plants. According to data released by the federal Energy Information Administration recently, coal production in southern West Virginia was up about 11.8 percent in the first half of this year while it was down in the other three regions.

In a conference call with investment analysts this past week, CSX executives said they expect the market for met coal to be strong through the end of this year.

Ramaco has a mine in Logan County and one on the West Virginia-Virginia border. Both produce met coal.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Tue, 30 Oct 2018
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