NRP reserve acquisition almost complete

THE second of three transactions required to purchase 144 million tons of coal in the Illinois Basin is now complete, officials for Natural Resource Partners announced Monday.

Donna Schmidt

With a price tag of $US35 million, NRP closed the sale from Williamson Development Company, formerly known as the Steelhead Development Company. The reserves are leased to Williamson Energy.

“We are very pleased with the pace and quality of work at this mine,” said Foundation president Nick Carter. “It will be a first-class operation.”

Houston, Texas-based NRP anticipates closing on the third and final transaction for the reserves by mid-year, followed by first production during longwall development and the production from the longwall in 2007.

At prime levels, the company hopes to produce more than 7Mtpa. Additionally, the company said, it is anticipating $US16-18 million annually in royalty revenues.

A master limited partnership, the company was created by properties owned by WPP Group and Arch Coal, and owns operations in the Illinois Basin, Appalachia and the Powder River Basin. The NRP operations headquarters is located in Huntington, West Virginia.

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