RIO DE JANEIRO Alpha
Natural Resources Inc. does not plan to sell off any of its
metallurgical coal assets in the near future, chairman and
chief executive officer Kevin Crutchfield told AMM
sister publication Steel First April 25.
Analysts recently suggested
there would be more mine closures, idlings and sell-offs in the
U.S. coal sector.
However, even though scant
demand for coal has forced the Bristol, Va.-based company to
significantly reduce production in recent months, most of those
cuts were in thermal coal, Crutchfield said on the sidelines of
the 6th Coaltrans Brazil and South America conference in Rio de
"Were now looking at our
portfolio and will probably sell some assets, but most likely
thermal coal assets not met coal," he said.
Alphas metallurgical coal
sales increased 5.7 percent to 20.26 million tonnes in 2012
from 19.17 million tonnes in 2011, and metallurgical coal
shipments for this year are expected to reach 20.5 million
tonnes, Crutchfield said.
"We are third in the world right
now (in metallurgical coal production)," he said. "Theres
BHP (Billiton Plc), Teck (Resources Ltd.) and us, and we like
that position; we want to continue there."
However, Alphas overall
coal sales are forecast to decline to around 87 million tonnes
this year from 108.8 million tonnes in 2012 and 106.3 million
tonnes in 2011.
Crutchfield would like to see
Alphas metallurgical coal exports to South America
increase, he told delegates at the conference.
Exports to South America reached
1.5 million tonnes in 2012. "We would like to double that," he
Overall, 75 percent of
Alphas metallurgical coal sales are destined for the
export market, especially to Europe and Asia.
Metallurgical coal production
could "easily" be lifted to some 24 million to 25 million
tonnes annually if demand improves, Crutchfield told Steel
First when asked about the companys output
"In the future, we could
increase that level to 30 million tonnes per year," he
A version of this article
was first published by AMM sister publication Steel