United Coal Company is the sixth largest metallurgical coal producer in the U.S., with an annual volume of more than 4 million tons.
Over the years, UCC has pursued an aggressive growth plan, adding new equipment and upgrades to ensure safe, environmentally friendly operations at all of its locations. The company owns 17 mines in three states and employs more than 1,200 people.
In August 2009, United Coal Company moved into its new corporate headquarters at 110 Sprint Drive in Blountville, Tenn. A staff of 34 employees work out of the Blountville office, which combines all corporate activities and executives in one location, including legal counsel, risk management, accounting, purchasing, information technology, human resources and sales – departments previously located in Teays Valley, W.Va., and Bristol, Va.
Headquartered in Blountville, Tenn., the company operates six subsidiaries in three states:
- Sapphire Coal Company – Whitesburg, Ky.
- Wellmore Coal Company – Big Rock, Va.
West Virginia Operations
- Affinity Coal Company – Midway, W.Va.
- Carter Roag Coal Company – Mill Creek, W.Va.
- Pocahontas Coal Company – Beckley, W.Va.
- Roaring Creek Coal Company – Elkins W. Va.
AFFINITY COAL COMPANY
In 2010, United Coal Company launched its third subsidiary in West Virginia, Affinity Coal Company, by opening an idled coal mine and constructing a new preparation plant. Affinity is a key addition to UCC and its parent company, Metinvest – providing high-quality metallurgical coal for global markets.
Located in Midway, W.Va., Affinity’s 1,000 ton-per-hour preparation plant is supported by a reopened coal mine that was operational in the 1930s. The project brings 250-plus jobs to the area and represents a significant investment – $115 million – in the local economy. Affinity is a vital contributor to West Virginia’s tax base, at an estimated $4.5 million per year.
This leading metallurgical coal mine is meeting the ever-changing demands of the steel industry, producing 1.4 million tons* per year at full production, using four super-section, continuous miner units. Approximately 50 percent* of the coal produced at Affinity is used for domestic steel production. Affinity coal reserves total 40 million* clean tons.
CARTER ROAG COAL COMPANY
Carter Roag Coal Company has operated as a subsidiary of United Coal Company since 2004, when UCC purchased permitted reserves in Randolph and Upshur counties in West Virginia. The property had produced mid- to high-volatile metallurgical Sewell coal for several decades.
Carter Roag now has more than 100 employees and mines 600,000 tons of coal annually. The company operates one deep mine – Pleasant Hill – located near Mill Creek, W.Va. Pleasant Hill is the only operating underground mine in Randolph County. Carter Roag’s coal preparation facility, the Star Bridge plant near Helvetia, W.Va., is a 500-ton-per-hour operation.
POCAHONTAS COAL COMPANY
In 2005, United Coal Company purchased the assets of Beckley, W.Va.-based White Mountain Mining Co., LLC and certain affiliates to establish Pocahontas Coal Company. Pocahontas employs more than 230 people, with operations in the communities of Killarney, Josephine and Lillybrook located in southern Raleigh County, W.Va.
The company’s annual coal production capacity is more than 1 million tons, with reserves totaling 72 million recoverable tons of low-volatile metallurgical coal.
Pocahontas has three deep mines, a surface mine and two highwall miner operations. These mining operations are supported by the recently upgraded East Gulf preparation plant and coal-loading facilities.
SAPPHIRE COAL COMPANY
Sapphire Coal Company was formed in 2004 out of the former assets of Golden Oak Mining and Cook & Sons Mining in Letcher County. Sapphire now employs more than 200 people and ships more than 1 million clean tons of coal a year.
With operations located in Letcher and Knott counties, Sapphire’s primary focus is the production of high Btu steam coal from the traditional eastern Kentucky strata, including the Hazard, Amburgy, Elkhorn and Whitesburg seams.
Sapphire’s operations include two underground mines and one surface mine – UZ, Advantage and Smoot Creek Surface. Sapphire’s upgraded 1,100-ton-per-hour preparation plant is one of the largest and most efficient operations of its kind in eastern Kentucky. The plant is on the same site as the high-speed, four-hour unit train loadout served by the CSX line.
We continue to expand our coal reserves and seek opportunities to develop new mines.
WELLMORE COAL COMPANY
In 2006, United Coal Company purchased The Rapoca Group, LLC, headquartered in Bristol, Va., and renamed the operation Wellmore Coal Company in recognition of United Coal’s origins in Buchanan County.
Wellmore has both company-owned and contract operations that include two company-operated underground mines, five company-operated surface mines, seven contract mines, three shops, two preparation plants and rail-loading facilities, a lab and administration office – for a total of 360 employees.
The company’s reserves, which total more than 55 million tons, are primarily mid/high-volatile metallurgical reserves and low-sulfur steam reserves in the Splashdam, Banner, Glamorgan, Jawbone and Hagy seams. Wellmore’s deep and surface mining operations are located throughout Buchanan, Tazewell and Dickenson counties in Southwest Virginia, with additional reserves located in Pike County, Ky., and McDowell County, W.Va.
The company’s Splashdam reserves are some of the most sought-after mid/high-volatile metallurgical coals in the Central Appalachian basin – supplying both domestic and international markets. Wellmore produces approximately 1.8 million tons of coal and is poised to re-emerge as a dominant supplier of mid/high-volatile metallurgical coal.