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Bens Creek Group PL said it is now working double shifts on both of its high wall miners at its metallurgical coal mine in West Virginia.

One of the high wall machines was sidelined for most of August but Bens Creek said it still produced 42,000 tons of clean coal, its highest monthly total ever, which included 10,000 tons of clean coal from its underground mining operations.

Four coal trains were also shipped during August, delivering 44,000 tons of clean coal.

Adam Wilson, chief executive, commented: “We are delighted to be able to report that the two highwall miners have started double shift production.

“This is a significant milestone, especially when added to the record coal production month in August. 

“We expect September’s coal production to exceed August’s numbers.”

Costs of production payable to its contractor have also reduced by US$3 per ton, he added, with further reductions expected from production increases and volume discounts.

“We also note that the high-vol B metallurgical coal price has now risen from its August low of $191 to $210 per ton,” said Wilson.

Bens Creek added it also had received approval to extend the surface mining area at its mine.