Metcoal miner Bens Creek engages second highwall miner from contractor MHW

Bens Creek Group, the UK-listed owner of a metallurgical coal mine in North America supplying the steel industry, announces that, further to the company’s announcement on December 22, 2022, it has signed an amendment to its agreement with its highwall mining contractor Mega Highwall Mining LLC (MHW) to confirm the provision and delivery of a second highwall miner, unit 77, by the end of January 2022. 

The company operates the Bens Creek coal mine which is set over 10,000 acres in the Central Appalachian Basin of the eastern United States and located in the southern part of the state of West Virginia and eastern edge of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. For the six months ended 30th September 2022 it produced 99,928 tons of clean metallurgical coal.

 The amended contract with MHW continues to, under a right of first refusal clause, give the company a right but no obligation to an additional, third highwall miner from MHW should Bens Creek wish to exercise it. Mobilisation of the components of unit 77 commenced January 12 and some equipment has already arrived on site. All required benching is complete and once the highwall miner has been re-assembled production is expected to start during February 2023.

 Adam Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Bens Creek, commented: “We are looking forward to the arrival of the second highwall miner and then assembling it on site. Once it is in place and fully operational, we expect to quickly improve production in line with our established programme. We are of course delighted to continue our very successful partnership with Mega Highwall Mining.”

Bens Creek Group in December 2022 also announced the sale of its own highwall miner (#20) to Civil LLC for a total cash consideration of $3.6 million. Civil LLC is a Georgia limited liability company, authorised to conduct mining business in the state of West Virginia, USA. At the time WIlson stated: Having negotiated successfully with MHW for the provision of a second highwall miner the need for us to own a machine has been reduced and as such a sale seemed the appropriate course of action. We are pleased to have achieved a positive result in the disposal.”