Atlantic floating on high sales tide

UK-LISTED and Pennsylvania-focused anthracite miner Atlantic Coal had another strong performance in the third quarter, reporting a 70% rise in coal sales despite expected reductions in its production totals resulting from cutbacks.

Donna Schmidt

For the period ended September 30, the producer said clean coal sales were 40,462 tonnes, versus 23,761t during the second quarter of the year. Average sales prices were $US121.82, down from the preceding quarter’s mean of $US126.40.

Production fell 6.6%, meanwhile, from 30,641 in the second quarter to 28,639t for the September period. The drop was a result of its focus on reducing its stockpile and efforts to scale back its mining operations.

At the end of September, Atlantic said its clean coal stockpile stood at 3646t, versus 17,162t at the end of the June quarter.

According to its data, the miner’s total sales for 2013 through October exceeded its whole-year 2012 total of 140,213t.

“This is particularly encouraging given that we scaled back mining operations during

the quarter to focus on sales to reduce [the] stockpile,” managing director Steve Best said.

“This also had the benefit of reducing costs over the summer months.”

Atlantic’s flagship operation is the Stockton anthracite mine in Hazleton, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, where Best said things were continuing to look up.

“I am pleased to report that market price levels are now improving and, against this background, we have commenced two full shifts working at both the mine and the washing plant in anticipation of higher demand as we go into the winter,” he said.

“We look forward to providing further updates on our progress at Stockton and our new Pott and Bannon project, together with our wider strategy to increase our presence in the US anthracite