BROOKWOOD, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warrior Met Coal, Inc. (NYSE:HCC) (“Warrior” or the “Company”) today announced that Alabama Governor Kay Ivey is expected to be among the guests in attendance on Wednesday, May 2 at 10:00 a.m., as the ribbon is cut celebrating the completion of Warrior Met Coal Company’s new No. 7 Mine North portal facility. The Governor will join a number of other state and local officials recognizing the significant positive local economic impact of Warrior’s metallurgical coal mining operations.
Warrior Met Coal is a leading producer and exporter of metallurgical coal for the global steel industry from underground mines located in Brookwood, Alabama, southwest of Birmingham and near Tuscaloosa. These underground coal mines are 1,400 to 2,100 feet underground, making them some of the deepest vertical shaft coal mines in North America. Metallurgical coal mined from the Blue Creek coal seam contains very low sulfur and has strong coking properties, making it ideally suited for steel makers. Warrior Met Coal’s cost-efficient operations serve markets in the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America via convenient barge and rail access to the Port of Mobile. The company currently has the operational capacity to mine about eight million tons of coal per year from more than 300 million tons of recoverable reserves.
The $19 million North portal facility at Mine No. 7 provides a new gateway for 200 Warrior Met Coal miners to enter the northern sections of the mine. Designed for growth, it will accommodate up to 500 underground employees, adding to both the safety and productivity of Warrior employees as it is put into use. The new portal eliminates 5.1 miles of travel underground each way for miners and is located 45 minutes closer to the sections in the North, saving travel time each day.
“The opening of our new portal speaks strongly to Warrior Met Coal’s commitment to maintaining safe working conditions for all of our employees, as well as our confidence in the met coal market in the months and years to come,” said Walt Scheller, CEO of Warrior. “Today’s celebration comes on the heels of our second anniversary as a company operating in the great state of Alabama. And it was also just a year ago in April that we became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.”
The new 33,000-plus square foot portal features a bathhouse, two kitchen areas, 40 offices and training rooms in addition to a hoist system which is double the capacity of the hoist currently in use at No. 7 West Mine. The new 7 North hoist features a 40-ton capacity, utilizing the latest technology and operates at a speed of 900 feet per minute to traverse the 1,451-foot-deep shaft. The hoist will accommodate 70 people.
“Our investment in this company has not only been in buildings and infrastructure,” Mr. Scheller noted. “Our investment has also been in people. When we look back over the past year, the statistics show we’ve added 1,000 new people to our operations roster, and we are still hiring.”
“Our commitment to the industry and to the people who work in it does not end with the opening of the new portal facility,” said Jack Richardson, Chief Operating Officer of Warrior. “Our Board has committed significant capital of $100 to 120 million to reinvest in our mine infrastructure and equipment needs this year, positioning us well for future growth and improvement.”
“Operating safely is always the highest priority for our company,” Mr. Scheller concluded. “We are committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all employees, and our continual reinforcement of safety culture helps to ensure that all employees return home safely to their families every day. The North portal facility at No. 7 Mine is another step evidencing and advancing that commitment.”
Warrior is a large scale, low-cost U.S. based producer and exporter of premium HCC, operating highly efficient longwall operations in its underground mines located in Alabama. The HCC that Warrior produces from the Blue Creek coal seam contains very low sulfur and has strong coking properties and is of a similar quality to coal referred to as the premium HCC produced in Australia. The premium nature of Warrior’s HCC makes it ideally suited as a base feed coal for steel makers and results in price realizations near the Australian LV Index. Warrior sells all of its met coal production to steel producers in Europe, South America and Asia. For more information about Warrior, please visit www.warriormetcoal.com.