FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Coal mines in the Powder River Basin bounced back from the rain-soaked second quarter, increasing production 18.9% in the third quarter, but still saw year-over-year declines. Ten of the top 16 mines reported production decreases from 2017, lowering the region’s output by 5% to 86.6 million tons, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.Despite reporting a $41.5 million net loss in the third quarter and filing for bankruptcy in October, Westmoreland Coal Co. saw significantly higher production levels at two of its mines in the third quarter than in the second. The Absaloka mine posted a 33.7% production increase, the largest among the basin’s top performers, producing 1.1 million tons. The Rosebud mine, which the company plans to sell alongside its other core assets, saw a 22.4% quarter-over-quarter uptick but the largest year-over-year percentage decline among the top producers with a 29% decrease to 1.8 million tons.The effects of the second-quarter rains carried over into Cloud Peak Energy Inc.’s third-quarter production. The company reported in an Oct. 25 earnings call that the moisture caused instability in its Antelope surface mine’s dragline pits. As miners removed coal from the pits, wet spoil would shift down into the pit and block the coal. CEO Colin Marshall said the company anticipates that fourth-quarter shipments will be constrained but “there’s no reason why Antelope can’t perform the way it should next year.” The pits are expected to “return to their normal cycle” by the end of 2018.Antelope had the second-largest year-over-year production drop during the period, with a 26% decrease to 5.8 million tons. The company’s Spring Creek mine produced 5.3% less coal year over year with 3.7 million tons, and the Cordero Rojo mine’s production dropped 10.5% to 3.4 million tons. All three saw at least a slight improvement over the second quarter’s production levels, with the Antelope mine posting an 18.6% quarter-over-quarter uptick.Peabody Energy Corp.’s North Antelope Rochelle mine, the largest coal mine in the country, posted a 22% uptick from the second quarter to 26 million tons, though levels were down 6.3% from the year-ago period. Its Caballo and Rawhide mines also saw production increases from the second quarter, rising 16.2% to 3.1 million tons and 29.3% to 2.4 million tons, respectively.More ($): Powder River Basin Q3 coal output improves from Q2 but down 5% from year ago Powder River Basin coal production continues falling
What a difference a couple of years makes. Two years ago, I participated in a 12-hour race at the Black Mountain Monster. I use the term “participated” rather than ran or competed because I walked the entire thing. Six weeks had elapsed since I had undergone major back surgery and although I was forbidden to run for another few weeks, my PT had given me the go-ahead to “walk as much as I wanted”. Little did she know that I would take her literally, covering 42 miles or fourteen rotations around the 3-mile loop.That was an interesting experience, and although I had fun, my pride took a beating as I was lapped over and over again. Although I knew that I was out there only for the experience and the camaraderie, the competitor within me hated the fact that I was out of the mix from the start.At that point in time, both the doc and I viewed the surgery as a success and I was thrilled to be able to walk all day without pain (although I was forced to lie down and ice every two hours). We still didn’t know what the future held in store for my running, however. The surgeon made no promises and it was still unclear if I’d ever run again. I told myself that I’d be thrilled if I could simply jog a few miles without pain, although deep in my heart I knew that what I really wanted was to continue to be an ultrarunner.Fast forward two years, and I’m standing at the start of this race once again. This time the walk breaks will be short and purposeful. I will walk for three minutes at the start of each lap, enough time to rehydrate and suck down a gel. I won’t even think about my back (although there will be plenty of pain and discomfort in other areas to occupy my thoughts).The day was terrific – perfect weather and the camaraderie that comes with reuniting with old trail-running friends and meeting new ones. I ran with a sense of gratitude that my body was allowing me to do what I love, knowing that many others are not as fortunate. I was psyched to surpass my goal distance with a total of 68 miles for the day.I’m not an advocate of running through severe pain or injury, but I definitely believe in pushing our limits. Some people would’ve given up running at the first mention of back surgery. If I was that type of person, I never would’ve taken up running in the first place, being a lifelong asthma sufferer. Or perhaps I would’ve quit fifteen years ago, when an orthopedist said that I had bad knees and suggested that I take up biking instead.Some might consider my decisions risky or foolish, but I’d rather try and fail, succumbing to my body’s limitations only after giving it my best shot, than live a life full of what-if’s.