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Sources: US Met Coal Mine Oak Grove Remains Idle, No Restart Date



January 10, 2020 - The Oak Grove coking coal mine in Alabama has been idled and no information on a restart is available, according to market sources and the coal's marketer, Javelin Global Commodities.

Mine stockpiles have been used to help fully meet sales commitments for the high CSR, mid-vol coal, and no shipments were missed, according to an email from Javelin late Wednesday.

Javelin said it was unable to comment further on future availability of the premium met coal.

The coal's buyers include several international steel groups, which load the coal at Mobile, in the US Gulf.

Mobile typically receives Panamax vessels and is also used by Warrior Met Coal and Peabody Energy for coking coal shipments, with vessels often loading multiple coals at the same time.

The underground mine is owned by Murray Metallurgical Coal Holdings, majority owned by Murray Energy, which filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in October 2019. Javelin holds a minority stake in Murray Met Coal.

Murray Energy said in a message Thursday that it was not commenting on the matter.

Murray Met Coal's Maple Eagle Mid-vol HCC mine was idled last year.

Market sources said they expected the mine's ownership to be undergoing a restructuring with third parties.

The mine has been operating over the past 50 years, with the miner last year planning to increase output toward previous full capacity of over 2 million st/year and expand output further.

Oak Grove produced 314,238 st in Q3 2019, down from 419,794 st in Q2 2019, according to US government data.