By Jonathon Manning
June 5, 2018 - An England mining company has hailed a record year and welcomed the introduction of President Donald Trump’s controversial steel tariffs.
Durham’s Atlantic Carbon Group - which uses North East, England's mining expertise to operate mines in Pennsylvania - saw its turnover soar by 17% from £26.7m to £31.5m for the year ending December 2017.
The company achieved its highest level of production in its history after successfully integrating the Hazleton Shaft mine into its business, after acquiring the site in 2016.
Operating profit at the firm also increased to £3.8m, up from a loss of £7.2m in 2016, with accounts saying that “the US Government’s focus on reviving American industries does give us optimism that prices will strengthen”.
Commenting on the results Barney Corrigan, Atlantic Carbon’s project and development manager in the UK, said: “We acquired the Hazleton Shaft mine in June 2016 and it took us a good six month to integrate that operation and get their mines operating the same way we were operating at our Stockton (US) mine.
“In 2017 everything was getting into good order and we increased production by working all three mines in the same manner we had been working Stockton over the last three years.”
Atlantic Carbon predominantly mines anthracite, which is used as a reducing agent in steel production.
Last week the US steel industry made the headlines after President Trump introduced tariffs against steel imported from many of the US’s biggest allies, including Canada, Mexico and the EU. Other countries, such as Japan, have been subject to the tariffs since March.
Imported steel is now facing levies of 25% while aluminium is subject to tariffs of 10%.
Although the tariffs only came into force a few months ago. Atlantic Carbon says the levies have already had a positive impact on its US business as well as the larger domestic market.
Corrigan added: “Obviously the tariffs - which are impacting China, the EU , Canada and Mexico - have already invigorated the US steel industry. There are a couple of steel plants that were mothballed but that have been reopened.
“We have also seen the first welcome signs of increases in prices. We have had a record year of production in 2018 but prices, even in the recent past, have been higher then they are now.”
Corrigan added that the steel tariffs have been introduced as the US gears up for a major investment in its infrastructure. The increased demand for iron and steel is expected to lead to a strong year for US steel and mining firms.
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