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Investing in Coal a Good Idea (Think China,India) – USA Coal Companies,Stocks (Tickers) Rising valuations

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Coal is the biggest source of Energy for Electricity Production in the world and its use is expected to continue to grow to 44% of the Electricity Production by 2030 (IEA).Despite Coal having many dangerous disadvantages,its Advantages of cheapness and abundance have made it the Fossil Fuel of choice.With global reserves estimated to be around 200 years,it does not have the “peak oil” characteristics as well.Though not a Coal Fan,nonetheless Coal stocks are a great investment choice due to the fact of its growing demand which is outstripping supply.China and India are massively growing their electricity,steel and cement production which  requires billions of tons of coal.China consumers almost 45% of the global coal production while Indian demand is growing by leaps and demands as well.Indian Power Utilities are grabbing up Coal Mines in Africa,Australia and Asia to secure feedstock for their gigawatt thermal power plants.Despite its growing importance Coal does not have a lot of choice in terms of investment unlike Fossil Fuels like Oil and Gas.Here is a list of Coal Stocks which one can invest in  and the sole Coal ETF – Market Vectors Coal ETF (KOL).

List of USA Coal Companies,Stocks

  1. Peabody Energy Corporation (BTU) – Market Cap of $18.5 Billon.Peabody Energy Corporation is the largest Coal Company in the United States with operations both in USA and  other countries.The Company has equity interests in a wide variety of Coal Mines and Coal Related Companies.It owns majority interests in 28 coal mining operations located in the United States and Australia.The Company holds approximately nine billion tons of proven and probable coal reserves and more than 500,000 acres of surface property.
  2. CONSOL Energy (CNX)  – One of the the biggest Coal Companies in  the US with a Market Cap of around $12 Billion.CONSOL Energy is not a pure play Coal Company rather it has equal interest in Gas and Coal.. The Company produces pipeline coalbed methane (CBM) gas from its coal properties in the Northern and the Central Appalachian basin, and oil and gas from properties in the Appalachian and Illinois Basins.During 2010, it had 13 mining complexes, including two 49% equity affiliates, all located in the United States. The Company had an estimated 4.4 billion tons of proven and probable reserves
  3. Arch Coal ACI – Market Cap of $5.6 Billion .During the year ended December 31, 2009, the Company sold approximately 126.1 million tons of coal and  operated 19 active mines at 11 mining complexes located in the United States.  On October 1, 2009, the Company acquired Rio Tinto’s Jacobs Ranch mine with 345 million tons of coal reserves and integrated it into the Black Thunder mine.
  4. Alpha Natural Resrouces (ANR) Market Cap of $7 Billion,Alpha Natural Resources  is a coal supplier in the United States. It operates 66 mines and 13 coal preparation plants in Northern and Central Appalachia and the Powder River Basin. During 2010, Alpha sold a total of 84.8 million tons of steam and metallurgical coal.
  5. Walter Energy (WLT) – Market Cap of $7.5 Billion  primary business, the mining and exporting of hard coking coal for the steel industry.During 2010, the Underground Mining segment produced 6.7 million tons of metallurgical coal. Underground Mining also extracts methane gas, from the Blue Creek coal seam. Its natural gas business produces approximately 38 million cubic feet of gas daily from over 1,700 wells
  6. Massey Energy (MEE) – Market Cap of $6.9 Billion.Massey Energy Company (Massey), incorporated in 1920, is a coal producer in the United States. At January 31, 2011, the Company operated 84 mines, including 66 underground mines  and 18 surface mines in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia. On April 19, 2010, the Company completed the acquisition of Cumberland Resources Corporation and certain affiliated entities (Cumberland). The Cumberland operations include primarily underground coal mines in Southwestern Virginia and Eastern Kentucky. T
  7. Natural Resource Partners (NRP) has a market cap of $3.71 billion.Natural Resource Partners L.P. is a limited partnership does not operate any mines, but lease coal reserves to mine operators under long-term leases that grant the operators the right to mine its coal reserves in exchange for royalty paymens.It has mines in  Appalachia, the Illinois Basin and the Western United States with reserves of   2.1 billion tons.During 2009  its lessees produced 46.8 million tons of coal from its properties.
  8. Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) has a Market Cap of around $3 Billion.It operates primarily to serve  United States utilities and industrial users. It operates nine underground mining complexes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and West Virginia. At December 31, 2009, ARLP  had approximately 647.2 million tons of coal reserves in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia and sold 25 million tons of coal.
  9. Patriot Coal Corporation (PCX) has a market cap of $2.25 billion and produces coal in the eastern United States, with operations and coal reserves in Appalachia and the Illinois Basin. It is also a producer of metallurgical coal. The Company’s operations consist of 14 mining complexes which include company operated mines, contractor-operated mines and coal preparation facilities.During the year ended December 31, 2009, the Company sold 32.8 million tons of coal and  controls approximately 1.8 billion tons of probable coal reserves
  10. International Coal Group (ICO) – – Market Cap of $2.2 Billion  is a producer of coal in Northern and Central Appalachia .As of December 31, 2009, the Company operated a total of 11 surface and 11 underground coal mines located in Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Illinois.The Company’s mines in Central Appalachia produced 10.1 million tons of coal in 2009, and the mines in Northern Appalachia produced 3.9 million tons of coal in 2009.
  11. Oxford Resource Partners (OXF) has a market cap of around $550 million and produces coal from mines  in Ohio.Company produced 5.8 million tons of coal, including 0.4 million tons produced from the reserves it acquired in western Kentucky from Phoenix Coal and sold 6.3 million tons of coal.OCX controls 91.6 million tons of proven and probable coal reserves
  12. James River (JRCC) – Market Cap of $900 million, James River Coal Company mines coal through six subsidiaries  located in eastern Kentucky and in southern Indiana. As of December 31, 2009, the Company’s six mining complexes included 14 underground mines, 10 surface mines and 10 preparation plants, five of which have integrated rail loadout facilities  As of December 31, 2009, it controlled approximately 271.1 million tons of  coal reserves. and  produced 9.8 million tons of coal


The US Coal Companies are rising with the rising demand in China and India even as they face major issues at home such as increasing costs of regulation,opposition from Green Groups,lack of growth in Thermal Power which is considered dirty.However the valuations of these companies have been growing with the soaring price of Coal which some consider  that it may double over the next few years.With Oil becoming extremely costly,Coal will be increasingly be used as a Energy Resource not only in Electricity but alson in Transportation as well (Coal to Gas and Coal to Liquid.).


Abhishek Shah

One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Anandh Sundar

    Would have been great if an EV/ton of reserves table was there. Here, there is no way to compare whether valuations are realistic or not. Agreed I can google it myself but having put so much effort into the table, this would have been the icing