Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund buys coal mines, idles Pinnacle and uses new marketing model

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Report summary

On December 22, 2015, Cliffs Natural Resources exited the coal business by selling its two longwall operations, Pinnacle and Oak Grove, to an affiliate of Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund (VCLF). These mines, which were originally owned by US Steel, produce low-volatile metallurgical coal. Output from the two mines was down about 630,000 t in 2015 compared to the previous two years and the new owner idled Pinnacle at the end of the year.  Before the sale, Cliffs cut workforce at these mines by nearly half and while the layoffs translate into improved productivity and cost competitiveness in the short run, future viability of these mines will depend on how the new owner plans to operate the mines longer term and the success of their market strategy for offering carbon neutral coal.

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    Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund buys coal mines, idles Pinnacle and uses new marketing model

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Table of contents

  • Oak Grove coal quality has some advantages over Pinnacle
  • Previous adjustment by Cliffs led to improved productivity and costs
  • Other activities by VCLF
  • Bundling CO2 credits with coal from Federal mine.
  • New potential uses for reclaimed surface mines
  • Environmental compliance monitoring
  • Conclusion

Tables and charts

This report includes 1 images and tables including:


  • Pinnacle 2015 productivity by quarter (t/man/day)

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