NRP puts faith in Illinois Basin

HOUSTON-based Natural Resource Partners has firmed up its future in Illinois, yesterday closing a $US35 million deal to purchase 144 million tons of coal reserves in the Illinois Basin.

Angie Tomlinson

In three separate transactions, funded through the partnership’s credit facility, NRP purchased reserves from Williamson Development Company, an affiliate of Cline Resource and Development Company.

First production is expected to occur later this year during longwall development.

"We entered into these transactions with the Cline Group over a year ago, before the mine was even permitted, and they have lived up to their reputation as excellent developers of high productivity coal mines," NRP chief Nick Carter said.

"We look forward to a long relationship with Williamson Energy as it brings this mine to its full potential sometime in 2007. When fully operational, we expect this mine to produce approximately 7 million tons per year, with royalty income in the $16-18 million range, primarily from NRP reserves."

NRP also owns coal properties in the Appalachian and Powder River Basins.

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