A Study of U.S. Coal Mine Closures since 1994
The US coal mining industry has suffered a recent decline in profits caused by a combination of decline in commodity demand and more restrictive government regulation, forcing coal mining companies to cease production in numerous mines. A 40% decrease in the total number of coal mines occurred from 1994 to 2000. The number of mines remained relatively constant until 2008 when a change of government sparked a series of new environmental regulations which have contributed to another 15% decrease from 2008 to 2016. In contrast, production has only decreased by 3%, increasing from 1994 to 2008, and then decreasing since 2008. However, this value is skewed by large increases in sub-bituminous coal production and decreases in other coal ranks. Several aspects assist in executive decisions on mine longevity and economic worth. Studies of open source mine data collected by mandated government surveys coupled with commodity history can be used to find relationships between mine closures and these elements, which include statistics on production tonnage, seam height, coal rank, etc. This paper looks at coal mining trends since 1994 by comparing mine, market, and regulation factors that may influence mine closure.
J. Brinkman et al., "A Study of U.S. Coal Mine Closures since 1994," Proceedings of the SME Annual Conference and Expo 2017: Creating Value in a Cyclical Environment (2017, Denver, CO), pp. 26-33, Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Feb 2017.
SME Annual Conference & Expo 2017: Creating Value in a Cyclical Environment (2017: Feb. 19-22, Denver, CO)
Mining and Nuclear Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
Bituminous coal; Coal; Coal industry; Environmental regulations; Laws and legislation; Mine surveys; Plant shutdowns; Coal mining; Coal mining industry; Coal ranks; Government regulation; Mine closures; Open sources; Regulation factors; Subbituminous coal; Coal mines
International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
Article - Conference proceedings
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01 Feb 2017