Carter said the result was also indicative of the continued strength of the coal market and the diversity of the company’s growing reserve base.
First quarter 2006 coal royalty revenues increased 20% to $39.1 million as the master limited partnership experienced increased coal royalty revenues per tonne in all regions and increased production in all regions except Central Appalachia where production was comparable to the first quarter of 2005.
Production by the partnership’s lessees grew 10% to 14 million tonnes over the 12.8Mt reported for the same period last year.
Production from two of the properties NRP acquired in Appalachia in 2005 offset the decline of production from other Appalachian properties where some lessees are mining off NRP properties and will return at a later date.
Higher priced metallurgical coal accounted for about 30% of the first quarter 2006 coal royalty revenues and 24% of production.
During the first quarter, Natural Resource Partners completed the second closing of the Williamson Development acquisition of high sulfur reserves in the Illinois Basin for $35 million.
The partnership retained its 2006 net income guidance of $2.85 to $3.15 per unit.