Casselman getting back on track: owner

THE new owner of the Casselman underground operation in Maryland confirmed Wednesday that the operation, which recently suffered condition-related delays, will be back to normal this month.
Casselman getting back on track: owner Casselman getting back on track: owner Casselman getting back on track: owner Casselman getting back on track: owner Casselman getting back on track: owner

Courtesy Corsa Coal.

Donna Schmidt

Canadian producer Corsa Coal, which purchased the Garrett County complex in a $US16.2 million deal with Maryland Energy in March, initially commenced operations in July. It did not disclose the initial mining conditions that caused the setback, but confirmed that the issue has been resolved.

“The company expects to achieve normal production levels this month,” officials said.

While the Casselman success was a positive, the news was dampened by Corsa’s shipment schedule outlook for the remainder of the year, which felt the impact of the metallurgical markets.

“As indicated in [our] third quarter results, the company’s ability to hit targeted 2011 production was largely dependent on the frequency of rail trains to its Wilson Creek coal preparation plant,” officials said, noting that the facility is about 30 miles from the Casselman complex in Grantsville.

“With what appears to be a general slowdown in met coal shipments, the company has received fewer trains than expected from its buyers in October and does not expect to receive the expected number of trains for November.”

Corsa said that while it had projected shipments of 70,000-75,000 tons in October, it actually shipped 50,000t, including both train and truck transport.

This situation is expected to continue through November and December.

“While the company has the production capacity from its surface and underground mines and purchased coal and the plant capacity to meet its expected delivery schedule, [we] will be temporarily reducing production to match the current expected shipment schedule,” president Don Charter said.

The adjustment will not change Corsa’s 2012 outlook.

In July, Corsa announced the start of train shipments from the Wilson Creek preparation facility in Pennsylvania, just a month after beginning operations there.

The plant, perched on the CSX rail line, is located about 170 miles from the Port of Baltimore.

It has a nameplate throughput capacity of 400 raw tons per hour, or 1.8 to 2 million tons annually at full capacity. It will also be able to handle up to 120 car units trains at that point.