As coal prices tumble and bankruptcies rise, a few U.S. miners are still pushing ahead with plans to expand.
Arch Coal Inc. and Consol Energy Inc. remain on track to open new mines to dig steelmaking, or metallurgical, coal from the West Virginia hills. That’s even as the market is already glutted, with prices down about 30% in 12 months.
They’re betting they can produce coal cheaply enough to profit even as their rivals retrench. Bloomberg Intelligence expects the global supply of the metallurgical variety to exceed demand this year by 2.7%, as economic headwinds blunt steel demand. At least four U.S. companies have shut mines since August. Five have filed for bankruptcy this year.