NEW YORK U.S. metallurgical and thermal coal producer Walter Energy Inc. cut production at low-margin mines by more than 1 million tonnes per year in 2012, according to a letter to shareholders.
"As we enter 2013, we have the capacity to produce in excess of 15 million metric tons (per year) of high-quality met coal in our existing operations when market conditions warrant," the letter said.
Walter Energy in 2012 also transitioned its Brule and Willow Creek metallurgical coal mines in British Columbia to owner-operated models from contractor-operated models, it said, noting that it continues to focus on development of its new Blue Creek Energy Mine in Alabama.
The Birmingham, Ala.-based company boosted its production of high-quality metallurgical coal by 35 percent to a record 11.7 million tonnes last year, also increasing its average cast cost per ton of metallurgical coal produced by 6 percent year on year in 2012 and by 20 percent year on year for the fourth quarter.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.