Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Coal's Latest Retreat:  Arch Backs Away from Huge Montana Mine

Montana’s Otter Creek valley. (Credit: Christopher Boyer, Click to Enlarge.
The writing has been on the wall as domestic and global coal markets have evaporated, but the announcement last week by St. Louis-based Arch Coal still came with a loud thud.  Arch, the second largest U.S. coal producer, now in bankruptcy, announced it would no longer seek a permit for the largest proposed coal mine in the country, in Montana's Otter Creek valley.

The company cited "further deterioration in coal markets" in its decision to table its application to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality for a mine in southeastern Montana's portion of the Powder River Basin that contains 1.4 billion tons of coal.
But since 2012, the coal export market has fizzled, too.  China's coal imports fell 30 percent in 2015, the biggest drop on record.  The price of Australian coal, the regional benchmark, has fallen to around $50 per metric ton, its lowest price in nearly a decade.

Matthew Korn, a Barclays analyst based in New York, recently described the export market as "dreadful."  The U.S. can't compete with Russia, Australia and Indonesia, among other major coal-exporting countries, for the remaining demand.

Read more at Coal's Latest Retreat:  Arch Backs Away from Huge Montana Mine

No comments:

Post a Comment