Thursday, June 4, 2009
CONSOL Makes Production Estimate Changes
Pittsburgh based CONSOL Energy says it will resume longwall production at its Buchanan Mine in mid-July. The mine produces metallurgical coal used mostly by steel companies to make coke. The company idled most of its coal production at the mine in March as orders plummeted. CONSOL spokesperson Tom Hoffman says between reaching new agreements over past contractual commitments for coal and an expectation for rebounding steel orders the equipment, the decision was made to bring the equipment back on line. Hoffman says in the past year the demand for all types of coal has spiked and plunged. He says the company has no crystal ball but it does see “hopeful signs” in the economy and expects to see higher demand by the end of the year. The increased production at Buchannan will not return the mine to its full capacity. CONSOL has also made production announcements concerning two other mines. The company idled longwall production at its Blacksville #2 mine near Wana, West Virginia, beginning June 2, 2009, with the idle period expected to continue at least through July 18, 2009, which is the end of a three-week summer vacation period. The mine is one of seven high-Btu bituminous coal mines the company operates in Northern Appalachia. In total CONSOL Energy is adjusting its 2009 estimated production to 60 million tons from the previous target of 62 million tons.