Must-know: Who are the major coal producers in the US?



Major coal producers in the U.S.

According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (or EIA), the top five producers of coal accounted for over 57% of the total coal production in the U.S. in 2012. These five players include Peabody Energy (BTU), Arch Coal (ACI), Alpha Natural Resources (ANR), Cloud Peak Energy (CLD), and Consol Energy (CNX).

Peabody Energy

Operating in the U.S. and Australia, Peabody Energy is the world’s largest coal company with over 8.3 billion tons of coal reserves. The company has 7.3 billion tons of steam coal reserves in the U.S. The company doesn’t produce any metallurgical coal in the USD. The company’s mines are located primarily in the western and mid-west region. The majority of the mines are located on the surface or close to the surface which makes it easier and more economical to extract coal. The company sold 251.7 million tons of coal generating $7 billion in revenues in 2013. To learn more about Peabody Energy, read the Market Realist series, Everything you need to know about Peabody Energy.

Arch Coal

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With a presence across every major coal producing region in the U.S. and a growing focus on metallurgical coal, Arch Coal is one of the most diversified coal company in the U.S. The company has over five billion tons of reserves out of which 3.2 million tons are located in Powder Reserve Basin (or PRB) located in northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana, one billion in the western bituminous region consisting of Colorado, Utah, and southern Wyoming, and a remaining one billion tons in Appalachian—including 430 million tons of metallurgical coal. The company sold 140 million tons of coal generating $3 billion in revenues in 2013.

Alpha Natural Resources

Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) has reserves of around 4.3 billion tons spread across 130 active mines in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming. The company boosts 1.4 billion tons of metallurgical coal reserves located in central and northern Appalachian. As company’s eastern mines are generally underground mines. The cost of mining is higher for the eastern mines than for the Powder River Basin in Kentucky and Wyoming. The company shipped 86 million tons of coal generating $5 billion in revenues in 2013. It’s important to note that the per ton realization for ANR is higher than other players because the company generated 47% of revenues through high-cost, high-grade metallurgical coal.

Cloud Peak Energy

Based in Wyoming, Cloud Peak Energy (CLD) owns and operates three surface mines in Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana. The company has around 1.2 billion tons of steam coal reserves in its existing mines. The company sold 86 million tons of coal in 2013 generating $1.4 billion in revenues.

Consol Energy

Consol Energy is a producer of natural gas and coal. The company’s coal operations include 4four mines located in Appalachian—Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The company has three billion tons of coal reserves across the U.S. The company’s coal segment generated $1.4 billion in revenues from 28.5 million tons of coal.   

While U.S. has the largest coal reserves in the world, they aren’t distributed uniformly across the country. In the next section of this series, we’ll discuss the coal supply chain in the U.S.


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