Archive | Coal

Trump’s Executive Order Won’t Save Coal Mining Jobs – by Jennifer A Dlouhy and Ari Natter (Bloomberg News – March 27, 2017)

President Donald Trump is taking bold steps to boost the declining coal industry, but the moves won’t restore many of the jobs lost by coal miners in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania who helped the president win his job in the White House.

Trump will sign an order Tuesday to dismantle the very foundations of his predecessor’s government-wide effort to combat climate change, according to details provided to Bloomberg News. It will resume the sale of coal from federal land, lift carbon dioxide limits on power plants and end Obama-era mandates that agencies consider global warming in a broad range of decisions.

“A lot of people are going to be put back to work, a lot of coal miners are going back to work,” Trump told a rally in Louisville, Kentucky last week, previewing the announcement. “The miners are coming back.” Continue Reading →

Threat of Cyclone Disrupts Mining in No. 1 Met Coal Exporter – by Ben Sharples and Perry Williams (Bloomberg News – March 27, 2017)

BHP Billiton Ltd. and Glencore Plc are halting some production in the world’s largest exporter of coal used in steel-making, as the biggest cyclone since 2011 to hit Australia’s Queensland nears the state.

South Walker Creek metallurgical coal mine operations will be suspended from the end of day shift on Monday and preparations are under way to manage increased rainfall throughout the week, BHP said in a statement. Glencore is preparing to temporarily halt output from the Collinsville and Newlands mines, the company said in a separate release.

Severe tropical cyclone Debbie is forecast to cross the coast Tuesday morning with wind gusts up to 260 kilometers (162 miles) per hour, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. Previous storms in Australia have flooded mines, swamped machinery and led to price spikes. Continue Reading →

Coal miner stereotypes shattered in humanizing ‘Black Rock Blues’ documentary – by Christina Gregg ( – March 23, 2017)

In President Donald Trump’s inauguration speech this past January, the newly-elected commander in chief shared a message aimed at America’s defeated and downtrodden, saying, “From mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again.”

Trump made this promise to many Americans while on the 2016 campaign trail, but he perhaps courted none with the vow of overdue consideration more so than coal miners working in one of the country’s most fragile industries.

A new Rated Red production, “Black Rock Blues,” features one such coal miner and father of three, who — despite being laid off twice in one year — says things have been “more hopeful” since Trump won the presidency. Continue Reading →

[Australia] ‘Coal miners stick together and we bleed black’ (Queensland Times – March 23, 2017)

WE BLEED black. That is what Bundamba MP and Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis Select Committee chair Jo-Ann Miller said about coalminers and their families in a forthright speech to parliament today.

Ms Miller moved that the the House take note of report No. 1 of the Committee, titled Inquiry into the re-identification of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis in Queensland-interim report. Ms Miller started off by telling the parliament that coalminers are a tough breed.

“As a coalminer’s daughter and granddaughter, I know this well,” she said. “We stick together and, as we say, we do not bleed red; we bleed black. “Unfortunately, that is so true of black lung disease. Continue Reading →

Discover The World’s Most Beautiful Coal Mine – by Sheobi Anne Ramos (Travelers Today – March 23, 2017)

In Germany, there lies a treasure unlike any other: a coal mine. You might scoff at the idea, but the Zollverein Coal Mine in Germany is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also known as the most beautiful coal mine in the world.

Coal mining in this complex started in 1851 and was a vital part of Germany’s history. The famed “black gold” was dug here to fuel Germany’s industrial revolution, and during the Second World War, over 3.6 million tons of coal were produced.

Back then, the Zollverein Coal Mine was one of the most important industrial complexes in Europe, and for the years that followed, several more buildings and refurbishments were added to further increase the productivity of the place. For 135 years, the complex churned and the workers toiled in “Shaft XII” of the complex until it was decommissioned in 1986. Continue Reading →

Indonesia port graft investigation disrupting coal shipments – by Fergus Jensen and Henning Gloystein (Reuters U.S. – March 22, 2017)

Indonesia is cracking down on corruption and widespread graft at some of its top coal export hubs, disrupting shipments to destinations across Asia.

Indonesia is the world’s top exporter of thermal coal, still the main feedstock for global power generation. Interruptions to coal’s output and shipment can impact seaborne prices of the fuel as well as wholesale electricity markets.

The investigations that began on Friday are targeting port operations along the large anchorage area off Samarinda in East Kalimantan, officials said on Wednesday, delaying ships waiting to load new supplies from the region’s mines. Continue Reading →

This Mile-Wide Hole Could Revolutionize Pakistan’s Economy – by Faseeh Mangi (Bloomberg News – March 21, 2017)

In the dusty scrub of the Thar desert, Pakistan has begun to dig up one of the world’s largest deposits of low-grade, brown, dirty coal to fuel new power stations that could revolutionize the country’s economy.

The project is one of the most expensive among an array of ambitious energy developments that China is helping the country to build as part of a $55 billion economic partnership. A $3.5 billion joint venture between the neighbors will extract coal to generate 1.3 gigawatts of electricity that will be sent across the country on a new $3 billion transmission network.

“When I came it was a mess. There was nothing here,” said Dileep Kumar, one of the first mining engineers at lead contractor Sindh Engro Coal Mining Co., standing atop the mile-wide hole in the earth, busy with yellow trucks and diggers on the floor below. “Now look at it. This wasn’t possible without the Chinese.” Continue Reading →

Indigenous Australians: Labor to support native title changes to protect mining deals – by Gareth Hutchens (The Guardian – March 21, 2017)

Labor will support the Turnbull government’s move to amend the Native Title Act following a shock federal court decision striking out a native title deal in Western Australia last month.

It means mining projects – including Adani’s Carmichael coalmine – already in operation under Indigenous land use agreements (ILUAs) may not be affected by the federal court’s ruling.

The news has angered Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners fighting Adani’s mine. They have accused Labor of “lining up with the government” to wind back their rights. Continue Reading →

Billionaire Adani Sees Disputed Australia Mine Start by 2020 – by P R Sanjai and Perry Williams (Bloomberg News – March 20, 2017)

India’s Adani Group plans to begin extracting coal from the $16.5 billion Carmichael project in Australia in 2020 after environmental protests delayed the first phase of the mine.

The company will begin work on the project three months after it gets final approval from Australia’s federal government, Gautam Adani, billionaire chairman of the Indian group said on Friday. Adani expects permission from Malcolm Turnbull’s government for the project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin as early as May, with a final investment decision by May or June, he said.

The project is meant to fuel power generation for 100 million Indians and create 10,000 jobs in Queensland. It will likely proceed given the pressing need for fresh sources of power generation in India, according to David Lennox, an analyst with Fat Prophets in Sydney. Continue Reading →

The Economist explains: How Australia has gone 25 years without a recession (The Economist – March 16, 2017)

WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S iron ore and Queensland’s coal were at the centre of Australia’s recent mining boom, stoked by the red-hot growth of China’s steelmaking industry. At its height about five years ago, mining investment accounted for 9% of national GDP. But as investment started to decline in 2013, Western Australia’s debt soared.

At 6.5%, its unemployment is now Australia’s highest. If the pattern of earlier booms had followed, Western Australia’s plight would have reverberated around the country and ended in a national bust. Yet the economy’s growth has stayed intact, notching up 25 years without a recession. How has Australia managed a feat that has defied most other rich countries?

Australia’s mining booms over the past 160-odd years made the country feel rich and confident while they lasted. Workers made big money, and this brought prosperity to far-flung regions producing gold, coal, gas and other commodities. Recessions followed nearly all earlier booms, including the most recent one, in the 1980s, largely because the upheaval proved too big a shock for an economy that was highly regulated. Continue Reading →

Coal India missing output target doesn’t matter, mining millions of tonnes more does – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – March 17, 2017)

LAUNCESTON, AUSTRALIA – What’s more important? The fact the Coal India will once again miss its annual output target, or that it will produce over 31 million tonnes more than it did the previous year?

Recent media reports have highlighted that Coal India Ltd (CIL), the state-owned behemoth that’s the world’s largest miner of the fuel, will likely miss its target of producing 598 million tonnes in the fiscal year ending March 31.

“CIL may miss by 20 million tonnes and it should be between 570-578 million tonnes,” Coal Secretary Susheel Kumar said of the target, in an article in the Economic Times on March 12. Assuming CIL reaches the lower end of the range, the 570 million tonnes produced in 2016-17 would still be 31.25 million, or 5.8 percent, more than what it managed in 2015-16. Continue Reading →

As China’s Coal Mines Close, Miners Are Becoming Bolder In Voicing Demands – by Rob Schmitz (Delaware Public Media – March 14, 2017)

The streets of Dalianhe, in China’s frigid northeast province of Heilongjiang, are lined with black snow. The town is home to one of China’s largest open-pit coal mines. Workers drive through its front gate into a massive gorge with cliffs the color of ink — a canyon of coal. Thousands of feet below, it’s silent but for the drip of melting snow.

It wasn’t always this way. Thousands used to work inside this mine on the northern fringe of China’s rust belt. It was established in 1960 at the height of Mao’s China, when the Communist Party considered this region a worker’s paradise. Coal mines and steel mills here employed millions.

Now it’s littered with deserted fossils of a bygone era. The 21st century’s Communist leaders are transforming China’s economy into a paradise for consumers, and have ordered inefficient, state-run mines like this one to close. Continue Reading →

The frustrating truth behind Trump’s promises to coal country – by Philip Bump (Washington Post – March 14, 2017)

President Trump celebrated the February job gains announced last week in a tweet Tuesday morning that was chock-full of graphics from Fox Business network. Included in the highlights are two bits of data that were central to Trump’s campaign argument: increases in employment in manufacturing and in mining.

The importance of Trump’s insistence that he would bring back coal mining jobs — a claim he made repeatedly — was reinforced in a recent Post article looking at the concerns of voters in West Virginia, the heart of Appalachian coal country.

Our Jessica Contrera spoke with a man named Clyde, who explained the mental calculation that went into his support of Trump last year, despite worries that his election might negatively affect his Medicaid. Continue Reading →

New mines bank on steel industry’s need for metallurgical coal – by Brian Bowling (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – March 12, 2017)

Contractors for Corsa Coal Corp. are busy digging a hole larger than a football field in Somerset County. Their goal is the Middle Kittanning seam — buried about 120 feet deep.

The Canonsburg-based company is on schedule to open its Acosta Deep Mine in May, with a plan for at least 70 miners to remove about three miles of metallurgical-quality coal — used in steelmaking — over the next decade. Starting a new mine in an era when many are shutting down feels good, said Robert Bottegal, Corsa’s general manager for engineering.

“There will be some more jobs in the area, which is great,” Bottegal said. The number of bituminous coal mines operating in the United States plummeted from 1,010 in 2001 to 431 in 2015, according to the U.S. Continue Reading →

‘Coal is in decline’ and it looks like not even Donald Trump can pull the industry’s long-term future out of the fire – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – March 8, 2017)

At their most generous, Las Vegas oddsmakers put the chances of Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidency at 25 to one. In other words, a long shot and one that likely mirrored any potential rebound by the country’s thermal coal miner stocks.

Coal mining companies have faced a constant “onslaught” of new regulations in the months and years leading up to the most recent U.S. election, said Cloud Peak Energy Inc. chief financial officer Heath Hill, including Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which was designed to encourage cleaner burning natural gas and renewable power at the expense of coal-fired electricity.

“It was effectively a ‘keep coal in the ground’ campaign, where the NGOs were really well supported by the administration’s coordinated regulation and implemented rules in a way that were very disadvantageous to the coal industry,” Hill said. Continue Reading →