Coal Info2018-12-19T13:19:41-05:00

Coal FAQs


Known shipments of steam coal from eastern Kentucky to power plants within the United States decreased by 34 percent in 2015, from 24.8 to 17.4 million tons. The largest markets for eastern Kentucky coal are traditionally located in the southeast and were led by South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia during the year.

Overall, coal mined in the region was shipped to 15 different states in 2015. Total Kentucky coal deliveries have decreased by an average of 8.9 million tons, or by 14 percent every year since 2005, primarily because of reduced shipments from eastern Kentucky. The Winyah power plant in South Carolina was the single largest consumer of coal from eastern Kentucky in 2015, receiving 1.9 million tons. The Commonwealth’s largest consumer of eastern Kentucky coal in 2015 was the Big Sandy power plant, which has retired its coal burning unit as of May 2015.


Given the accessibility of river ports in western Kentucky, half of the region’s coal was distributed via barges in 2014. Just under a third of western Kentucky coal was transported by rail during the same year, and 19 percent was delivered by truck. In 2014, electric power plants represented 99 percent of the demand for western Kentucky coal. Kentucky exported 605 thousand tons of coal to three countries in 2015, down 35.6 percent from 2014. The federally available data are complicated by the confusion of export terminals and mining areas. For example, California is ranked tenth above in bituminous coal exports, yet produces no coal.


There are two Class 1 railroads, one regional railroad, and two short line railroads that operate totally in Kentucky or originate coal in Kentucky. The vast majority of coal shipped from eastern Kentucky in 2014 was delivered to electric power plants in the United States. Industrial facilities were the next largest consumer of eastern Kentucky coal 16.8 percent of demand for the commodity. Coke plant deliveries reached nearly one million tons in 2014. Demand from commercial consumers accounted for one percent of eastern Kentucky coal distribution during the year. Of the coal deliveries originating in Eastern Kentucky, 81 percent were distributed via rail car. The remaining loads were carried by river barge or truck.

SHIPPING COAL2017-11-08T12:37:05-05:00

The annual distribution of coal mined in Kentucky is a combination of instate consumers, out of state power plants, factories, and foreign exports. Demand from out of state consumers has consistently been the largest component of Kentucky coal deliveries for several decades. Eastern Kentucky coal has predominantly been sold to states in the southeastern United States. Conversely, western Kentucky coal has mostly been mined for instate consumption. Kentucky remains the single largest consumer of Kentucky coal. As other states have decreased their consumption of coal from the Commonwealth, the percentage of Kentucky coal consumed in the state has increased. Known foreign exports of Kentucky coal in 2015 were 605 thousand tons or 1.0 percent of known coal deliveries.

LONGWALL MINING2017-11-08T12:37:05-05:00

Longwall mining is used most efficiently in uniform coal seams (medium height 40 to 60 inches). As in the room–and-pillar method, longwall mining starts with sets of entries cut into the panel areas. The difference in the technique lies in the distance between these sets of entries and the method used to extract intervening coal. Longwall blocks range from 300 to 600 feet wide and are sometimes a mile long. The longwall machine laterally shears or plows coal from the entire face. Then the longwall machine will transport the fallen coal by an advancing conveyor to a secondary haulage conveyor. This reverses direction at the end of a cut and supports the roof around the face by a self-advancing system of hydraulic jacks. Over 80% of the entire coal face can be removed with this method. The roof is allowed to cave-in behind the advancing work areas, and the roof is occasionally blasted to ensure a controlled cave-in rate and to reduce overburden pressure on the coal being mined. The shortwall method of mining coal is best described as a process like longwall mining with two exceptions. One being the blocks of panels are smaller, usually ranging from 100 to 150 feet wide and 300 feet long. The second one being the coal is cut with a continuous miner and is loaded into shuttle cars.

ROOM-AND-PILLAR MINING2017-11-08T12:37:05-05:00

Room-and-pillar mining has been used in the United States longer than any other underground method. Mining is accomplished by driving entries off the panel entries. As mining advances, rooms are excavated in the coal seam, the mountain above the seam is supported by pillars of coal left in place. After a block panel or section has been mined, part of the coal in the pillars can be recovered as a retreat is made toward the main entry. Around 1950, continuous mining using electric-powered machines to bore, dig, or rip the coal from the working face has largely replaced conventional mining. Conventional mining involved undercutting, drilling, placing explosives, and blasting to extract the coal. Coal is either loaded directly into shuttle cars by the machine or in a separate operation. Continuous mining is interrupted by stops to support the roof, waiting of shuttle cars, advance power and water supplies, and service the equipment.


Access to coal deposits for underground mines is provided by drift mining. Drift mining cuts horizontally into a hill. Slope mining is cut at an angle from the valley bottom into the hill where the coal is located. Shaft mining is cut straight down deep into the surface by way of a vertical shaft with an elevator to reach the coal seam. In underground mining, after the initial development has gained access to the coal, one of three methods are commonly used to extract the coal. Room-and-pillar, longwall, or shortwall.

UNDERGROUND MINING2017-11-08T12:37:05-05:00

Underground mining is more challenging and requires more miners, but some of the best coal is underground. Underground mining is used when the coal is buried several hundred feet or more below the surface. Some mines can extend to depths of more than 1,000 feet. Miners use heavy machinery to cut out the coal and rely on conveyor systems to transport the coal to the surface. Some underground mines require elevator shafts to move miners and coal to and from the surface. Mining has become much safer and more efficient over the years. Underground mine operations accounted for 69 percent of coal production in Kentucky in 2015, with room and pillar systems being the most common mining method. Throughout most of history, underground mines have provided most employment and coal production in the Commonwealth. During 2015, combined coal production from underground operations and surface operations was more than 61 million tons with a slight majority of production in western Kentucky

MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL MINING2017-11-08T12:37:05-05:00

Mountaintop mining, often referred as mountaintop mining or valley fills, is a form of surface mining that involves an extreme topographic change to the summit or summit ridge of a mountain. It is most closely associated with coal mining in the Appalachian Mountains, located in the eastern United States. The process involves the removal up to 1,000 vertical feet of overburden to expose underlying coal seams. The overburden is often scraped into the adjacent drainage valleys in what is called a valley fill. Because of its destructive nature, Mountaintop mining is controversial and is protested by environmentalists, local residents, and others. Controversy over the practice stems from both the extreme topographical and ecological changes that the mining site undergoes, as well as from the storage of waste material generated from the mining and processing of the coal.

HIGHWALL MINING2017-11-08T12:37:05-05:00

A bench is created from the removal of overburden material and coal from the surface of the perimeter of a coal seam, and the machines are generally operated from it. Previously augered areas and trench mining can also be used with a highwall miner. When the highwall miner is operated off a bench, a minimum bench width of forty-two feet is required, with fifty-five feet or more being ideal. The highwall miner is capable of mining coal seams from thirty inches to sixteen feet in thickness and depths up to one thousand feet. The highwall miner mines this range of coal seam heights because of its fitting interchangeable cutterhead modules. A highwall miner has low, medium, or high seam mining ability.

AUGER MINING2017-11-08T12:37:05-05:00

In the eastern United States, auger mining is used on hillside terrain. It requires a surface cut to allow the auger access to the coal. It is also used to recover part of the coal left from underground mining. Auger mining is mostly used in conjunction with strip mining. Coal mining by the auger method entails boring horizontal or near-horizontal holes in an exposed face of the coal and loading the coal removed by the auger. Single, dual, or triple auger heads can remove up to 90 inches of coal for over 200 feet. Augering is used to supplement recovery at contour or strip mines when the overburden becomes too great to be economically removed. It is also used where the terrain is too steep for overburden removal and where recovery by underground methods would be impractical or unsafe.

STRIP MINING2017-11-08T12:37:05-05:00

Strip mining is accomplished by two techniques; area stripping and contour stripping. Where coal seams are relatively flat and near the surface. In area strip mining, the overlying material is removed from the seams of coal. Area strip mining is removed in long narrow bands, or strips, followed by removal of the exposed coal. Except for the first cut, overburden from each cut is discarded in the previous cut from which the coal has been removed. These parallel cuts continue across the coal seam.  This continues until one of three things happens; until the thickness of the overburden becomes too costly to be removed economically, or until the end of the coal seam, or coal mining property is reached. Both single and multiple seams, near the surface can be mined in this manner. Overburden removal is usually accomplished in the United States with heavy equipment. Much of the overburden contains layers of shale, limestone, or sandstone and must be blasted before it can be removed. After the overburden is removed, coal is usually loaded into coal trucks with a front-end loader.

Contour stripping is practiced on steep terrain mostly in the Appalachian Coal Region. The method consists of removing overburden from the coal with the first cut at or near the outcrop and proceeding around the hillside. Overburden is stacked along the outer edge of the bench. After the uncovered bed is removed, usually two or three cuts are made until the depth of the overburden becomes too great for the economic recovery of the coal. Contour mining creates a shelf or bench on the side of the hill. On the inside, it is bordered by the highwall (ranging in height from a few feet to more than 100 feet) and on the outer side, by a high ridge of spoil. Bulldozers and front-end loaders are often used for overburden removal at these operations.

SURFACE MINING2017-11-08T12:37:05-05:00

Surface mining is used when the coal is typically less than 200 feet below the surface. Heavy equipment is used to remove the top layers of soil and rock to expose the coal. The coal is excavated, and after the mining is complete, the soil and rock are returned to reclaim the coal mining property. Then the property can be used for other purposes, such as cropland, wildlife habitat, recreation, commercial, or industrial purposes. This method is used most frequently in the United States because much of the coal reserves are near the surface and it is less expensive than underground mining. Surface mines accounted for 31 percent of statewide production. Whereas drift, contour, and auger mining are more common in eastern Kentucky, slope and shaft mining are more common in the western Kentucky coal field. Nearly 60 percent of active coal mines in eastern Kentucky in 2015 were broadly defined as surface operations.  However, the combined annual production of eastern Kentucky surface mines was slightly lower than underground production: 13.5 million tons compared to 14.6 million tons.

MINING METHODS2017-11-08T12:37:05-05:00

Coal is mined by using machines to remove the coal from the ground. There are two primary methods of mining coal; surface mining, and underground mining.

FERROSILICON COAL2017-11-08T12:37:05-05:00

Ferrosilicon is an alloy of iron and silicon. The silicon content in ferrosilicon can be between 15 and 90 weight percent. Ferrosilicon has a high proportion of iron silicides. (Silicides has silicon and more electropositive elements) Ferrosilicon is produced by reduction of silica or sand in the present of iron. It is used to help reduce metals from their oxides and to deoxidize steel and other ferrous alloys. Which helps prevents the loss of carbon known as blocking the heat. Ferrosilicon is used to manufacture silicon, corrosion, as well as high-temperature resistant ferrous silicon alloys and silicon steel. It can be found in some electrode coatings and used for inoculation of the of the iron to accelerate graphitization. It’s an additive to cast irons for controlling the initial content of silicon as well.

SILICON COAL2017-11-08T12:37:05-05:00

Thousands of products are made from either the base material or a critical additive with or from Silicon. Silicon is the second-most abundant element in the earth’s crust. Aluminum, silicon chip, optical glass, solar energy and silicon’s are just a few. The single most use of silicon metal is as an alloy material in various grades of aluminum, primarily aluminum used for performance application such as automotive components and aerospace products. In the last few years, the increasing demand for aluminum based parts has risen significantly, replacing heavy steel or iron parts in automotive applications.  Electronic products, such as cell phones and computers or any electronic that uses a chip is made from silicon. It is a semiconductor chip made from silicon that helps us operate daily. We would not be able to use these products without silicon. Optical glass produced from silicon are used to manufacture both optical fiber and liquid crystal displays. Solar panels are made from silicon, which uses the sun’s ray to generate space and water heating. The photovoltaic industries could not make it without silicon. Silicon’s bases polymers, known as silicones provides a safer alternative to hydrocarbon bases products. These products include but are not limited to lubricants, greases and resins to skin and hair care products, antiperspirants, anti-foam agents, fabric softeners, rubber gaskets and seal, food additives, polishes and coatings, adhesives, and even caulking compounds.

BLUE GEM COAL2017-11-08T12:37:05-05:00

Blue Gem Coal is known for its hardness, as well as being low in ash and sulfur. It contains high carbon, low fusion, and low grind. Blue Gem Coal is the most sought after coal in the world but is only found on the Kentucky-Tennessee border along the Cumberland Mountains. The thickness is around 18 – 28 inches.  It is best suited for the production of silicon metals, which is another reason why it is so sought after. Blue Gem Coal is one of three grades of coal that helps with the production of silicon metals, and the other two grades are only found in West Virginia, Columbia, and South Africa. With the silicon market expanding yearly and the demand continuing to grow, the mineable reserves for Blue Gem Coal are becoming increasingly more valuable. The mine price is as much as 100% higher than high-quality steam coal and is typically the highest priced of any grade of coal produced in the U.S.

STEAM COAL2017-11-08T12:37:05-05:00

Steam coal is also known as Thermal Coal and is the most abundant source of fossil fuel found around the world. Steam Coal is lower in carbon content and higher in moisture content than Metallurgical Coal. Steam Coal is used by the utilities to generate electrical power. Steam Coal is also used in different industries such as cement plants, paper mills, chemical plants, and other manufacturing and processing facilities.

METALLURGICAL COAL2017-11-08T12:37:05-05:00

Metallurgical coal is also known as Met coal or Coking Coal. Metallurgical coal (Met/Coking) is used to supplies the heat and carbon in the steel mill process to make steel products. From the higher temperatures created from Met Coal in the coking process, the coke will be created, and the coke gives the steel its strength and flexibility. Metallurgical coal (Met/Coking) can be used in the building of bridges, buildings, or anything that steel is used in.


Lignite is a soft brownish coal with high moisture and ash content. Lignite has the lowest carbon content of them all, 25-35 percent, and a heat value ranging between 4,000 and 8,300 BTUs (British Thermal Unit). Sometimes lignite coal is called brown coal, and it is mainly used for electricity.


Subbituminous coal is a dull black coal with 35-45 percent carbon content and a heat value between 8,300 and 13,000 BTUs (British Thermal Unit). Reserves are located mainly in half-dozen Western states. Subbituminous heat value is lower, and it has lower sulfur content than other types of coal. Subbituminous makes it a cleaner burning coal. Subbituminous coal is mainly used for electricity and heating homes.


Bituminous is the most abundant coal found in the United States, and is accounted for more than 50% of the coal reserves in the U.S. Bituminous Coal is a dark, hard like coal and its primary use is to generate electricity. Bituminous coal is the fastest growing market for coal in the U.S. Bituminous coal has a carbon content ranging from 43 to 87 percent and a heat value of 10,500 to 15,500 BTUs (British Thermal Unit). Bituminous coals are often subdivided depending on their heat value. Bituminous is classified as low, medium, and high volatile bituminous and subbituminous.


Anthracite is coal also known as Hard Coal, which has the highest carbon content. Anthracite has between 86 and 98 percent carbon content and a heat value of nearly 15,000 BTUs (British Thermal Unit). Anthracite coal is mostly used for heating homes. Anthracite is a tiny part of the U.S. coal market. This coal is mainly found in the northeastern parts of Pennsylvania.


Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock that is in layers, called coal beds or coal seams. The term “coal” is to describe a variety of different materials, but no two coals are exactly alike. When matching specific types of coal to a particular application, it entails many different mechanical strengths, chemicals, and properties, such as heating values, ash melting temperatures, sulfur as well as other impurities must be considered. Coal has different physical and chemical characteristics depending on the locations it is found. Coal is used as the primary source of energy utilized in the world. Coal is also one of the largest amounts shipped by ocean and land worldwide. Metallurgical, Steam, and Blue Gem Coal is the most common coal mined in the U.S. as well as being sold throughout the world. Coal is classified into four general categories. They range from lignite through sub-bituminous and bituminous to anthracite. This is due to the progressive response of individual deposits of coal to increasing heat and pressure. The carbon content of coal supplies most of its heating value, but other factors also influence the amounts of energy it contains per unit of weight. Much of the coal in this country falls in the bituminous and sub-bituminous categories. Bituminous coal is located throughout the Eastern and Mid-continent coal fields, while sub-bituminous coal is found in the Western states. Lignite ranks the lowest of the coals. Most lignite is mined in Texas, but large deposits also are found in some Gulf Coast states.


Do you own the mineral rights? In Kentucky, ownership of property may be separated into surface rights, timber rights, mineral rights, etc. If you do not own coal mineral rights, then you do not own the coal on your property. On the other hand, you may have mineral rights to coal on someone else’s property. You should know the type of ownership you have before you proceed any further. Estimating tons of coal on a property, this is the complicated part. Most people would hire a registered consulting geologist or registered mining engineer for this. The process is explained here, in simplified terms. Each step is done separately for each of the coal beds under consideration. The first step is to gather as much coal thickness information as possible for the target coal bed. Information may be obtained from the Kentucky Geological Survey Coal Thickness Data Base, KGS Borehole Data Base, files of local coal companies, and neighbors and by examining outcrops, digging out the coal, and possibly drilling boreholes (drilling can be paid for by interested companies). After coal thickness data are gathered, a map showing coal thickness trends (isopach map) is constructed for the target bed. Property lines and the target coal-bed outcrop lines are added to the map. Next, the area for each thickness class must be measured (generally in acres). This process is called planimetry. Planimetry measures the area of the property. With the area and thickness known, a volume of coal can be calculated, and from this volume, a total tonnage can be derived. Planimetry can be done by hand using several methods, but the most accurate are with a mechanical device called a planimeter. Planimetry can also be done accurately by a computer using special software. From the calculated areas and the projected thickness trends, a gross reserve estimate can be calculated. The gross reserve estimate is a volume calculation based on a conversion factor for bituminous coal, of 1,800 tons for every acre for every foot of coal. To estimate the tons of bituminous coal on a property, the formula is:

Acres x Coal thickness x 1,800 tons/acre-foot = Tons of coal on your property

Acres = the number of acres underlain by a coal bed

Coal thickness = the average coal thickness in decimal feet for that area underlain by coal

For example: If you have 5 acres of property underlain by a coal bed, and the coal bed thickness is 2.5 ft. then, 5 x 2.5 x 1,800=22,500 tons of coal


 Alkalis (Na2O, K2O) – The alkalis value of the coking coal is to be controlled and it is to be limited to 2% maximum in coal ash. High alkali content is not desirable in BF. It also affects the lining of the blast furnace adversely.

Anthracite – A hard, black lustrous coal containing a high percentage of fixed carbon and a low percentage of volatile matter. Commonly referred to as hard coal. Anthracite ignites with difficulty, produces no smoke, burns at first with a very short blue flame that disappears after the coal is thoroughly ignited, and produces an intensely hot fire.

Ash– Ash in coking coal is normally limited to 10% maximum in air-dried condition. High ash content in coking coal reduces productivity and increases coke rate in the blast furnace.

Ash Fusion Temperature (AFT) – Ash Fusion Temperature in coking coal is to be higher than coking temperature. AFT value in the coking coals should be 1450ºC minimum.

Assigned Reserves– Coal which has been committed by the coal company to operating mine shafts, mining equipment, and plant facilities, and all coal which has been leased by the company to others.

Auger– A rotary drill that uses a screw device to penetrate, break, and then transport the drilled material (coal).

Belt Conveyors – A moving endless belt that rides on rollers and on which coal or other materials can be carried for various distances.

Bench – The horizontal step or floor along which coal, ore, stone, or overburden is worked or quarried. In tunnel excavation, where a top heading is driven, the bench is the mass of rock left, extending from about the spring line to the bottom of the tunnel.

Bill Of Lading (B/L)– Document serving three functions: (1) receipt for cargo prepared by the shipper and signed by the carrier; (2) ‘document of title’ to the cargo i.e. proof of ownership; and (3) provides evidence of terms and conditions of the contract of carriage of cargo by sea.

Bituminous Coal– The most common type of coal with moisture content less than 20% by weight and heating value of 10,500 to 14,000 Btu per pound. It is dense and black and often has well-defined bands of bright and dull material.

Blast – The operation of blasting, or rending rock or earth by means of explosives.

Block Coal – A bituminous coal that breaks into large lumps or cubical blocks; also, coal passing over certain sized screens instead of through them, such as a 5-, 6-, and 8-inch block.

Bone Coal – Coal with a high ash content, almost rock.

Brokerage-The remuneration for brokers’ time and effort in negotiating the Charter Party (qv); expressed as a % of freight or hire payment received by shipowner.

Brown Coal – A low-rank coal which is brown, brownish-black, but rarely black. It commonly retains the structures of the original wood. It is high in moisture, low in heat value, and checks badly upon drying.

Btu– (British Thermal Unit). A measure of the energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.

Bucket – A vessel (as a tub or scoop) for hoisting and conveying material (as coal, ore, grain, gravel, mud, or concrete). A part of an excavator that digs, lifts, and carries dirt.

Bulldozer (Dozer) – A highly versatile piece of earth excavating and moving equipment especially useful in land clearing and leveling work, in stripping topsoil, in road building and ramp building and in floor or bench cleanup and gathering operations.

C & F / CFR– Cost and Freight – method of selling cargo where the seller pays for loading costs and ocean freight.

Central Appalachia– Coal producing states and regions of eastern Kentucky, eastern Tennessee, western Virginia and southern West Virginia.

CIF – Cost, Insurance, and Freight – method of selling cargo where the seller pays for loading costs, ocean freight, and insurance.

Coal – A solid, brittle, more or less distinctly stratified combustible carbonaceous rock, formed by partial to complete decomposition of vegetation; varies in color from dark brown to black; not fusible without decomposition and very insoluble.

Coal Mine – An area of land and all structures, facilities, machinery, tools, equipment, shafts, slopes, tunnels, excavations, and other property, real or personal, placed upon, under, or above the surface of such land by any person, used in extracting coal from its natural deposits in the earth by any means or method, and the work of preparing the coal so extracted, including coal preparation facilities. British term is “colliery”.

Coal Reserves – Measured tonnages of coal that have been calculated to occur in a coal seam within a particular property.

Coal Seam– Coal deposits occur in layers. Each layer is called a “seam.”.

Coal Washing– The process of removing impurities, such as ash and sulfur based compounds, from coal.

Coke – A hard, dry carbon substance produced by heating coal to a very high temperature in the absence of air.

Compliance Coal– Coal which, when burned, emits 1.2 pounds or less of sulfur dioxide per million Btu, which is equivalent to .72% sulfur per pound of 12,000 Btu coal. Compliance coal requires no mixing with other coals or use of sulfur dioxide reduction technologies by generators of electricity to comply with the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act.

Continuous Miner– A machine used in underground mining to cut coal from the seam and load it onto conveyors or into shuttle cars in a continuous operation.

Continuous Mining– One of two major underground mining methods now used in the United States. This process utilizes a continuous miner. The continuous miner removes or “cuts” the coal from the seam. The loosened coal then falls on a conveyor for removal to a shuttle car or larger conveyor belt system.

Conventional Mining – The first fully-mechanized underground mining method involving the insertion of explosives in a coal seam, the blasting of the seam, and the removal of the coal onto a conveyor or shuttle car by a loading machine.

Core Drill – A drilling machine equipped with a hollow bit (core bit) and a core barrel which by rotation cuts out and recovers a rock core sample. A drill that removes a cylindrical core from the drill hole.

Core Sample – A cylinder sample generally 1-5″ in diameter drilled out of an area to determine the geologic and chemical analysis of the overburden and coal.

Crop Coal – Coal at the outcrop of the seam. It is usually considered of inferior quality due to partial oxidation, although this is not always the case.

Crucible Swelling Number (CSN) – The desirable range of CSN in coking coals is 3 minimum to 6 maximum. CSN in the prime coking coals is higher while CSN in soft coking coals is lower.

Deep Mine– An underground coal mine.

Demurrage – Financial compensation paid by charterer to the vessel for delays after the laytime has expired at the load/discharge port.

Dozer And Front-End Loader Mining– An open-cast method of mining that uses large dozers together with trucks and loaders to remove overburden, which is used to backfill pits after coal removal.

Dragline – A type of excavating equipment which casts a rope-hung bucket a considerable distance, collects the dug material by pulling the bucket toward itself on the ground with a second rope, elevates the bucket, and dumps the material on a spoil bank, in a hopper, or on a pile.

Drill – Any cutting tool or form of apparatus using energy in any one of several forms to produce a circular hole in rock, metal, wood, or other material.

Exhaust Fan – A fan which sucks used air from a mine and thereby causes fresh air to enter by separate entries to repeat the cycle.

Exploration – The search for mineral deposits and the work done to prove or establish the extent of a mineral deposit. Alt: Prospecting and subsequent evaluation.

Explosive – Any rapidly combustive or expanding substance. The energy released during this rapid combustion or expansion can be used to break rock.

Face – The exposed area of a coal bed from which coal is being extracted.

Fault – A break in the continuity of a body of rock. It is accompanied by a movement on one side of the break or the other so that what were once parts of one continuous rock stratum or vein are now separated.

Ferrosilicon– An alloy of iron and silicon used in the production of carbon steel.

Fines – In general, the smallest particles of coal or mineral in any classification, process, or sample of the run-of-mine material.

Fluidity (Plasticity) – In mineral transport, term not confined to liquids and slurries, but also used for finely divided solids which flow readily in air currents, fluosolids reactors, or through dry ball mills.

FOB – Free On Board – method of selling cargo excluding ocean freight and insurance, but including loading costs.

Force Majeure– An event that may prevent the company from conducting its mining operations as a result of in whole or in part by: Acts of God, wars, riots, fires, explosions, breakdowns or accidents; strikes, lockouts or other labor difficulties; lack or shortages of labor, materials, utilities, energy sources, compliance with governmental rules, regulations or other governmental requirements; any other like causes.

Front End Loader – A tractor loader with a digging bucket mounted and operated at the front end of the tractor. A tractor loader that both digs and dumps in front.

Gray King Coke Type – The value of the Gray King in coking coals is normally G 5 minimum. In the case of soft coking coal, the limit of Gray king value is G min.

High Vol Met Coal– Coal that averages approximately 35% volatile matter. Volatile matter refers to a constituent that becomes gaseous when heated to certain temperatures.

Highwall Miner– An auger-like apparatus that drives parallel rectangular entries to 1,000 feet into the coal seam.

Industrial Coal– Coal used by industrial steam boilers to produce electricity or process steam. It generally is lower in Btu heat content and higher in the volatile matter than metallurgical coal.

Lignite – A brownish-black coal in which the alteration of vegetal material has proceeded further than in peat but not so far as subbituminous coal.

Loader – A mechanical shovel or other machines for loading coal, ore, mineral, or rock.

Loading Machine – A machine for loading materials such as coal, ore, or rock into cars or other means of conveyance for transportation to the surface of the mine.

Loading Ramp – A surface structure, often incorporating storage bins, used for gravity loading bulk material into transport vehicles.

Locomotive – An electric engine, either operating from current supplied from trolley and track or from storage batteries carried on the locomotive.

Long-Term Contracts– Contracts with terms of one year or longer.

Longwall – The coal seam is removed in one operation by means of a long working face or wall, thus the name. The workings advance (or retreat) in a continuous line which may be several hundreds of yards in length. The space from which the coal has been removed (the gob, goaf, or waste) is either allowed to collapse (caving) or is completely or partially filled or stowed with stone and debris. The stowing material is obtained from any dirt in the seam and from the ripping operations on the roadways to gain height. Stowing material is sometimes brought down from the surface and packed by hand or by mechanical means.

Low Ash Fusion– Coal that when burned typically produces ash that has a melting point below 2,450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Low Coal – Coal occurring in a thin seam or bed.

Low Sulfur Coal– Coal which, when burned, emits 1.6 pounds or less of sulfur dioxide per million Btus.

Lump Coal – Bituminous coal in the large lumps remaining after a single screening that is often designated by the size of the mesh over which it passes and by which the minimum size lump is determined. Also, the largest marketable size.

Maximum Dilatation – In coking coal, the value of maximum dilatation is 55% minimum. The dilatation value of coal blend depends on the value of maximum dilatation of coal blend components.

Maximum Fluidity– Coking coal has values of maximum fluidity as 600 ddpm minimum. Higher fluidity value gives better flowability in the coking ovens of a battery.

Mean Maximum Reflectance (MMR) – It is the most important property of coking coal. The MMR values in coking coal vary in a range of 0.85% to 1.35%. Soft coking coal has lower MMR while hard coking coal has higher MMR.

Metallurgical Coal– The various grades of coal suitable for carbonization to make coke for steel manufacture. Also known as “met” coal, it possesses four important qualities: volatility, which affects coke yield; the level of impurities, which affects coke quality; composition, which affects coke strength; and basic characteristics, which affect coke oven safety. Met coal has a particularly high Btu, but low ash content.

Metric Ton – A unit of mass and weight that equals 1,000 kilograms or 2,204.6 avoirdupois pounds; abbreviation, MT.

Mine Car – Cars which are loaded at production points and hauled to the pit bottom or surface in a train by locomotives or other power. They vary in capacity from 1 to 12 tons and are either of wood or steel construction or combinations of both.

Mine Foreman – The person charged with the responsibility of the general supervision of the underground workings of a mine and the persons employed therein. In certain states, the mine foreman is designated as the mine manager.

Mine Inspector – One who checks mines to determine the safety condition of working areas, equipment, ventilation, and electricity, and to detect fire and dust hazards.

Miner – One who mines; as (1) one engaged in the business or occupation of getting ore, coal, precious substances, or other natural substances out of the earth; (2) a machine for automatic mining (as of coal); and (3) a worker on the construction of underground tunnels and shafts (as for roads, railways, waterways).

Mineral – An inorganic compound occurring naturally in the earth’s crust, with a distinctive set of physical properties, and a definite chemical composition.

Mineral Rights – The ownership of the minerals under a given surface, with the right to enter thereon, mine, and remove them. It may be separated from the surface ownership, but, if not so separated by distinct conveyance, the latter includes it.

Open-Cut (Pit) Mining – A form of operation designed to extract minerals that lie near the surface. Waste, or overburden, is first removed, and the mineral is broken and loaded, as in a stone quarry. Important chiefly in the mining of ores of iron and copper. The mining of metalliferous ores by surface-mining methods is commonly designated as “open-pit mining” as distinguished from the “strip mining” of coal and the “quarrying” of other nonmetallic materials such as limestone, building stone, etc.

Opening – A short heading driven between two or more parallel headings or levels for ventilation.

Outcrop – Coal that appears at or near the surface.

Overburden– Layers of earth and rock covering a coal seam. In surface mining operations, overburden is removed prior to coal extraction.

Overburden Ratio– The amount of overburden commonly stated in cubic yards that must be removed to excavate one ton of coal.

Permit – As it pertains to mining, a document issued by a regulatory agency that gives approval for mining operations to take place.

Phosphorus – Coking coal should have Phosphorus content limited to 0.1% maximum in as dried condition. Phosphorus is transferred to hot metal in the blast furnace which in turn creates difficulties in dephosphorisation during steel making.

Pillar– An area of coal left to support the overlying strata in a mine; sometimes left permanently to support surface structures.

Pit – Any mine, quarry, or excavation area worked by the open-cut method to obtain material of value.

Pneumoconiosis– A lung disease caused by long-continued inhalation of mineral or metallic dust.

Post – A mine timber, or any upright timber, but more commonly used to refer to the uprights which support the roof cross-pieces. Commonly used in metal mines instead of leg which is the coal miner’s term, especially in the Far West regions of the United States. The support fastened between the roof and floor of a coal seam used with certain types of mining machines or augers. A pillar of coal or ore.

Powdered Coal (Pulverized Coal)
– Coal that has been crushed to a fine dust by grinding mills. The latter are often air swept, the velocity of the air being so regulated that particles of coal, when sufficiently reduced, are carried away. Pulverized coal particles of which about 99 percent are below 0.01 inch in diameter will burn very rapidly and efficiently. Low-grade coal may be pulverized and conveyed from the mill by air into the boiler plant.

Power Shovel – An excavating and loading machine consisting of a digging bucket at the end of an arm suspended from a boom, which extends crane-like from that part of the machine which houses the power plant. When digging the bucket moves forward and upward so that the machine does not usually excavate below the level at which it stands.

Preparation Plant– Usually located on a mine site, although one plant may serve several mines. A preparation plant is a facility for crushing, sizing and washing coal to prepare it for use by a particular customer. The washing process has the added benefit of removing some of the coal’s sulfur content.

Probable (Indicated) Reserves– Reserves for which quantity and grade and/or quality are computed from information similar to that used for proven reserves, but the sites for inspection, sampling and measurement are farther apart; therefore, the degree of assurance, although lower than that for proven reserves, is high enough to assume continuity between points of observation.

Proven (Measured) Reserves– Reserves for which (a) quantity is computed from dimensions revealed in outcrops, trenches, workings or drill holes; grade and/or quality are computed from the results of detailed sampling and (b) the sites for inspection, sampling and measurement are spaced so closely and the geologic character is so well defined that size, shape, depth and mineral content of reserves are well established.

Pulverized Coal Injection (PCI)– A system whereby coal is pulverized and injected into blast furnaces in the production of steel and/or steel products.

Ranks Of Coal – The classification of coal by degree of hardness, moisture and heat content. “Anthracite” is hard coal, almost pure carbon, used mainly for heating homes. “Bituminous” is soft coal. It is the most common coal found in the United States and is used to generate electricity and to make coke for the steel industry. “Subbituminous” is a coal with a heating value between bituminous and lignite. It has low fixed carbon and high percentages of volatile matter and moisture. “Lignite” is the softest coal and has the highest moisture content. It is used for generating electricity and for conversion into synthetic gas. In terms of Btu or “heating” content, anthracite has the highest value, followed by bituminous, subbituminous and lignite.

Reclamation– The process of restoring land and the environment to their approximate original state following mining >activities. The process commonly includes “recontouring” or reshaping the land to its approximate original appearance, restoring topsoil and planting native grass and ground covers. Reclamation operations are usually underway before the mining of a particular site is completed. Reclamation is closely regulated by both state and federal law.

Recoverable Reserves– The amount of proven and probable reserves that can actually be recovered from the reserve base taking into account all mining and preparation losses involved in producing a saleable product using existing methods and under current law.

Red Dog – A nonvolatile combustion product of the oxidation of coal or coal refuse. Most commonly applied to material resulting from in situ, uncontrolled burning of coal or coal refuse piles. It is similar to coal ash.

Reserves– That part of a mineral deposit which could be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination.

Resource (Non-Reserve Coal Deposit)– A coal-bearing body that does not qualify as a commercially viable coal reserve. Resources may be classified as such by either limited property control, geologic limitations, insufficient exploration or other limitations. In the future, it is possible that portions of the resource could be re-classified as reserve if those limitations are removed or mitigated by improving market conditions, additional property control, favorable results of exploration, advances in technology, etc.

Rider – A thin seam of coal overlying a thicker one.

Rock Dusting – The dusting of underground areas with powdered limestone to dilute the coal dust in the mine atmosphere thereby reducing explosion hazards.

Roll – Used to describe minor deformations or dislocations of a coal seam, for example, faults with small displacement to small monoclinal folds, to welts or ridges projecting from either the roof or floor into the coal and to fillings of stream channels or low areas extending downward into the coal.

Roof– The stratum of rock or other minerals above a coal seam; the overhead surface of a coal working place. Same as “top.”

Roof Bolting (Pinning) – A system of roof support in mines. Boreholes from 3 to 8 feet long are drilled upward in the roof and bolts of 1 inch diameter or more are inserted into the holes and anchored at the top by a split cone or similar device. The bolt end protrudes below roof level and is used to support roof bars, girders, or simple steel plates pulled tight up to the roof by a nut on the bolt head. The bolts are put up to a definite pattern. The idea is to clamp together the several roof beds to form a composite beam with a strength considerably greater than the sum of the individual beds acting separately.

Room – A place abutting an entry or airway where coal has been mined and extending from the entry or airway to a face.

Room And Pillar Mining– In the underground room and pillar method of mining, continuous mining machines cut three to nine entries into the coal bed and connect them by driving crosscuts, leaving a series of rectangular pillars, or columns of coal to help support the mine roof and control the flow of air. As mining advances, a grid-like pattern of entries and pillars is formed. Additional coal may be recovered from the pillars as this panel of coal is retreated.

Royalty – The payment of a certain stipulated sum on the mineral produced.

Runoff – That portion of the rainfall that is not absorbed by the strata; is utilized by vegetation or lost by evaporation or may find its way into streams as surface flow.

Sampling – Cutting a representative part of an ore (or coal) deposit, which should truly represent its average value.

Seam – A stratum or bed of coal.

Shoot – To break coal loose from the seam by the use of explosives; loosely used, also as applied to other coal breaking devices.

Shooter – The person who fires a charged hole after satisfying himself/herself that the area is free from firedamp. A shot firer.

Short Ton – A unit of weight that equals 20 short hundredweights or 2,000 avoirdupois pounds. Used chiefly in the United States, in Canada, and in the Republic of South Africa.

Shortwall – The reverse of longwall, frequently used to mean the face of a room. A method of mining in which comparatively small areas are worked separately, as opposed to longwall; for example, room and pillar.

Shot Firer – A person whose special duty is to fire shots or blasts, especially in coal mines. A shot lighter.

Shovel – Any bucket-equipped machine used for digging and loading earthy or fragmented rock materials. There are two types of shovels, the square-point and the round-point. These are available with either long or short handles. The round-point shovel is used for general digging since its forward edge, curved to a point, most readily penetrates moist clays and sands. The square-point shovel is used for shoveling against hard surfaces or for trimming.

Shuttle Car – A vehicle on rubber tires or caterpillar treads and usually propelled by electric motors, electrical energy which is supplied by a diesel-driven generator, by storage batteries, or by a power distribution system through a portable cable. Its chief function is the transfer of raw materials, such as coal and ore, from loading machines in trackless areas of a mine to the main transportation system.

Silt – A fine-grained sediment having a particle size intermediate between that of fine sand and clay.

Slope – The main working gallery or entry of a coal seam which dips at an angle and along which mine cars are hauled. An entrance to a mine driven down through an inclined coal seam; also, a mine having such an entrance.

Slope Mine – A mine with an inclined opening used for the same purpose as a shaft or a drift mine. It resembles a tunnel, a drift, or a shaft, depending on its inclination.

Sludge – Mineral, mud, and slurry too thick to flow. A soft mud, slush, or mire; for example the solid product of a filtration process before drying (filter cake).

Slurry – The fine carbonaceous discharge from a colliery washery. All washeries produce some slurry which must be treated to separate the solids from the water in order to have a clear effluent for reuse or discharge. Also, in some cases, it is economical to extract the fine coal from the effluent.

Spoil Bank – To leave coal and other minerals that are not marketable in the mine.

Spot Market– Sales of coal under an agreement for shipments over a period of one year or less.

Steam Coal– Coal used by power plants and industrial steam boilers to produce electricity or process steam. It generally is lower in Btu heat content and higher in the volatile matter than metallurgical coal.

Stoker Coal – A screen size of coal specifically for use in automatic firing equipment. This coal can be of any rank and the stoker is usually designed to fit the coal available. Factors of importance in the selection of coal for stoker use are: size limits, size consist, uniformity of shipments, coking properties, ash fusion characteristics, ash, sulfur and volatile-matter percentages.

Strip – In coal mining, to remove the earth, rock, and other material from a seam of coal, generally by power shovels. Generally practiced only where the coal seam lies close to the earth’s surface. To remove from a quarry, or other open working, the overlying earth and disintegrated or barren surface rock.

Strip Mine – An opencut mine in which the overburden is removed from a coal bed before the coal is taken out.

Sulfur– One of the elements present in varying quantities in coal that contributes to environmental degradation when coal is burned. Sulfur dioxide is produced as a gaseous by-product of coal combustion.

Sulphur – Sulphur levels in coking coals are to be limited to 0.6% maximum in as dried condition. Higher sulfur results into increase in the sulfur content of hot metal in the blast furnace.

Sulfur Content– Coal is commonly described by its sulfur content due to the importance of sulfur in environmental regulations. “Low sulfur” coal has a variety of definitions but is typically used to describe coal consisting of 1.0% or less sulfur.

Surface Mine– A mine in which the coal lies near the surface and can be extracted by removing overburden.

Surface Mining – The mining in surface excavations. It includes placer mining, mining in open glory-hole or milling pits, mining and removing ore from open cuts by hand or with mechanical excavation and transportation equipment, and the removal of capping or overburden to uncover the ores. Mining at or near the surface. This type of mining is generally done where the overburden can be removed without too much expense. Also called strip mining, placer mining, opencast mining, opencut mining, or open-pit mining.

Surface Rights – The ownership of the surface of land only, where mineral rights are reserved. Those reserved to the owner of the land beneath which ore is being mined. The right of a mineral owner or an oil and gas lessee to use so much of the surface of land as may be reasonably necessary for the conduct of operations under the lease.

Synthetic Fuel (Synfuel)– A solid fuel that is produced by mixing coal and/or coal waste with various additives, causing a chemical change to occur within the original product.

Tipple – Originally the place where the mine cars were tipped and emptied of their coal, and still used in that sense, although now more generally applied to the surface structures of a mine, including the preparation plant and a structure that facilitates the loading of coal into rail cars.

Tons– A “short” or net ton is equal to 2,000 pounds. A “long” or British ton is 2,240 pounds; a “metric” ton is approximately 2,205 pounds. The short ton is the unit of measure referred to in this Form 10-K.

Total Moisture – It is limited to 10% maximum in as received condition. High moisture not only creates handling problem but also lowers available carbon in the coal mix.

Unassigned Reserves– Coal which has not been committed, and which would require new mineshafts, mining equipment, or plant facilities before operations could begin in the property.

Underground Mine– Also known as a “deep” mine. Usually located several hundred feet below the earth’s surface, an underground mine’s coal is removed mechanically and transferred by shuttle car or conveyor to the surface.

Unit Train– A train of a specified number of cars carrying only coal. A typical unit train can carry at least 10,000 tons of coal in a single shipment.

Utility Coal– Coal used by power plants to produce electricity or process steam. It generally is lower in Btu heat content and higher in the volatile matter than metallurgical coal.

Vitrinite – Coking coals have Vitrinite value as 50% minimum. For soft coking coal, the limit of Vitrinite is 45%.

Vitrinite Distribution (V9 – V14) – The value of Vitrinite distribution in coking coal is 70% minimum.

Volatile Matter (VM) – Higher volatile matter in coking coal reduces the yield of metallurgical coke in coke oven battery. The volatile matter in coking coal ranges normally from 20% to 35% in air dried sample.

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