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
I became a hiker on June 9, 2011. Maybe you remember that day—it was overcast, and a strong wind was pushing the clouds over the mountains of New York. The air had a different kind of feel, like it was alive and had something it needed to say. It was the fifth day of my first backpacking trip and I was wearing that new pair of socks you bought me in Columbus. I remember being embarrassed because I almost lost one and you found it outside of my tent that morning. Chase had that look on his face like he was disappointed in me, like he might’ve wished you hadn’t invited me to tag along for a week on the Appalachian Trail with you guys. He was thru-hiking, after all.Then of course that funny thing happened where I got lost in the middle of you two. You left early and Chase left late, leaving me to take a wrong turn in the middle. Chase passed me when I was lost and caught up to you, concerned that my inexperience had gotten the best of me…and that I was bear food. I knew something was off when Chase didn’t catch up to me, but I really didn’t care. The clouds were skating low and fast over the ridge line and the leaves were dancing, steady and methodical like an ocean wave. I was caught up in the movement of it all, of the dancing and the skating and life that I had not noticed before. I was fifteen, alone for the first time, and free by myself in the woods.I became an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker on July 31, 2014. The wood on the Katahdin sign felt worn against my unshaved legs, a reminder of those who had passed before me. Standing on the sign, I was reminded of you, of your goofy hats and blunt slogans, of your inexhaustible generosity, and of my first backpacking trip. You didn’t have to do that, you know. I was just a geeky kid who was a friend of your family—it would have made more sense to ask my brother to accompany you. I want to thank you for recognizing my potential and allowing me the opportunity to recognize it myself. You have taught me the most important things about backpacking and through backpacking I have learned the most important things about myself.When I was fifteen I didn’t imagine myself walking up the eastern seaboard, or becoming an engineer. I feel that age is the one where opportunities present themselves to us most ambiguously. Most likely you didn’t imagine that inviting me to hike with you and your son would eventually dictate my career path and perspective on life. So thank you, Todd Gordon, for believing in me when I did not believe in myself. Thank you for teaching what is not usually taught. And thank you for so actively encouraging me when it was not required of you. You are such an inspiration.With love,AlexisAlexis Eliot is a freshman studying Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. She is a former AT thru-hiker, a Head Trip Leader for the Virginia Tech Outdoor Club, and one of our four 2016-2017 Blue Ridge Outdoors college ambassadors. Be on the lookout for more online from Alexis and the rest of our college ambassadors!
By Dialogo January 01, 2012 In May 2004, a plane crash killed 33 people in the northwest Brazilian city of Manaus. A surveillance helicopter immediately went to the location. The crew, part of the 4th Army Aviation Battalion, used night-vision goggles to recover the bodies in what would be the first search and rescue mission using this type of equipment in South America. The 4th Army Aviation Battalion (BAvEx) is headquartered alongside Manaus Air Base, in an area of uneven terrain where the first suspension hangar in Brazil was built. It is the only Brazilian Army helicopter unit in the Amazon and covers nearly half the national territory. It has a roster of 300 military personnel, of whom 35 are pilots, and it reports directly to the Amazon Military Command (CMA, for its Portuguese acronym). The CMA was created in 1991 to accommodate the growing geopolitical significance of the Amazon region. That year, a helicopter force from what was then the Army Aviation Brigade arrived from Taubate, São Paulo, to participate in a secret military operation in the region of Tabatinga, in the state of Amazonas. The Brazilian military action was led by Special Forces with support from Army Aviation. Guerrillas belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in the area had attacked a Brazilian Army river detachment along the Traira River, killing service members and stealing their weapons. BAvEx participates actively in international humanitarian operations, such as the rescue of FARC hostages in Colombian territory. Its aircraft fly above the immense forest in complete safety and with an elevated tempo of operations, conducting all air mobility operations within the jurisdiction of the CMA, in addition to carrying out a variety of missions in support of governmental agencies, such as the Brazilian Environmental Institute, the Indigenous National Foundation, the Federal Police and others, never losing sight of the main focus of their mission, which is to provide tactical and strategic air mobility to the CMA. The Missions The 4th BAvEx is equipped with 11 helicopters: four HM-2 Black Hawks (Sikorsky S-70A), three HM-1 Panthers (Eurocopter AS-365), and four HM-3 Cougars (Eurocopter AS-532 UE). Air mobility in the Amazon jungle is categorized in terms of two operational doctrines for military force: Gamma, for resistance combat, and Alpha, for conventional combat. Within these two doctrines, a series of specific missions may be carried out and classified as follows: Combat support missions: Command and control and artillery spotting. Missions such as search and rescue, reconnaissance, security, incursion, infiltration and extraction with air mobility are necessary in the jungle environment. Logistical support missions: Supplying bases, detachments and special border squads; dropping paratroopers and Special Forces; providing medical evacuation and transport by air. For the 4th BAvEx, all missions are real. This is the reason for its crews’ high level of operational readiness. The helicopters, equipped with MAG 7.62 mm lateral machine guns, can get to any point along the Brazilian border in the CMA area within 15 hours of receiving a mission. Since the forest is too vast for the flight autonomy of any helicopter available in the market today, field fuel tanks, called “plots,” are transported for each deployment by the battalion and stored in safe areas so the aircraft can land, refuel and return to combat. The weather conditions in the Amazon are extreme, and they can change suddenly. Since the distances are very large, and the flights are long, a pilot who takes off in favorable weather may encounter a radical change along the way. Military Operations along the BordeR In Brazil, the Armed Forces may exercise police powers throughout the border region. This area extends 150 kilometers from the border, within which military personnel may perform random stops and searches of vehicles, boats and people suspected of illicit activities, such as international drug trafficking and smuggling arms and goods. In the case of the Amazon region, with its very long border, support from Army Aviation aircraft is essential to surveillance, transportation and logistical support activities, whether conducted by military personnel or by teams from the Federal Police and the government agencies that work in the region. Recently, the first edition of Operation Ágata was conducted in the region. The operation was initiated by the Brazilian Ministry of Defense as an integral part of the Strategic Border Plan launched by President Dilma Rousseff on June 8, 2011. Of the country’s 16,000 kilometers of border, 9,500 are irrigated by rivers that originate in neighboring countries and flow downstream into the Brazilian national territory, serving as routes for organized-crime activities. To confront this problem, the Defense and Justice ministries defined 34 vulnerable points that will be covered by the Armed Forces in future editions of the operation. Congratulations Cap. Spindola