Met coal prices show upward tilt as consolidation picks up speed

Dec 18, 2007 | 02:32 PM | Maria Guzzo

The metallurgical coal industry is apparently the place to be, with prices seemingly poised to head higher and mining companies expanding and acquiring interests in the sector.

Houston-based Natural Resource Partners LP, for example, said it will pay $27.2 million for about 17.5 million tons of high-quality low-volatility metallurgical coal reserves in Wyoming and McDowell counties in West Virginia. Natural Resource Partners said the purchase will generate coal royalty revenue of about $750,000 in the fourth quarter of this year.

"Recent events in the coking coal and coke sub-sector of the steel industry are clearly indicating where steel companies see these prices going—higher," Nicholas J. Sowar, a partner at Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Cincinnati, said.....

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