- Company increasing environmental reclamation efforts and efficiencies with strategy to further enhance long-term value and further reduce long-term cost structure
- Company is fastest growing U.S. supplier of high-quality met carbon and well positioned to serve long-term steel markets driven by global infrastructure demand
FISHERS, IN / ACCESSWIRE / June 3, 2020 / American Resources Corporation (NASDAQ:AREC) ("American Resources" or the "Company"), a supplier of raw materials to the rapidly growing global infrastructure marketplace with a primary focus on the extraction, processing, transportation and distribution of metallurgical carbon to the steel and specialty metals industries, today announced the expansion of its environmental efforts by adding a third environmental reclamation crew. The Company continually evaluates its large number of mining permits to identify properties that are at or below their proprietary (economic and environmental) margin and slates them for reclamation to permanently restore the environmental impact and thereby reduce the Company's long term cost structure. Additionally, as a pure-play metallurgical carbon producer, any and all acquired thermal coal related permits are also slated for environmental reclamation.
American Resources has acquired over 80 mining permits with an estimated reclamation bonding amount of over $41 million. To date, the Company has reclaimed or is currently working to complete reclamation, on 25 thermal mining sites with an associated environmental reclamation bonding liability amount of over $16.7 million. Given its accelerated environmental efforts, the Company has added an additional crew and working with its contractors to continually reduce this exposure.
Mark Jensen, Chairman and CEO of American Resources Corporation commented, "During the COVID-19 outbreak, our first priority was to ensure the safety of our workers; thereafter, we wanted to utilize this time to increase efficiencies at our operations for the long-term and are incredibly proud of the progress made on that front. We believe producing carbon at a loss is a horrible idea, however it is an unavoidable practice for some producers in our industry because of their significant holding costs. Enabled by our low corporate overhead and our dedication to not wasting valuable resources, we have chosen to focus on improving mine plans and advancing environmental reclamation during this market disruption, which we believe will drive significant long-term value for our shareholders as we look to be in position to ramp up production when the market stabilizes."
American Resources, since inception, has strategically acquired and restructured mining complexes to establish itself as one of the fastest growing, lowest cost metallurgical carbon platforms in the Central Appalachian basin. Over the next few years, through cost cutting and right-sizing operations, the Company will look to significantly ramp up operations to fit the current and future market conditions both domestically and internationally.
Over the course of the last few months, American Resources has taken the opportunity to further streamline and optimize its operations to reduce its operating cost structure while accelerating its environmental reclamation efforts to reduce its holding costs. Currently, the Company is making progress on multiple environmental projects and moving them towards bond release, which include:
- Completing significant reclamation and remediation at the Company's Gold Star mine, a thermal mine located in Greene County, Indiana that was idled in 2015.
- Completing reclamation and remediation efforts on several sites and permits throughout eastern Kentucky, which includes ongoing efforts by the Company to finalize the remaining outstanding environmental obligations.
- Submitting for bond releases as they come available due to reclamation efforts and post-mine land use changes.
"In addition to our expansion of environmental efforts, the funds we received through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) have also helped us to keep our valued colleagues employed and working. These amazing efforts by all of our team members are creating greater efficiencies and reducing our already low corporate overhead. It better prepares us and puts us in a greater position to respond to the expected strong bounce in worldwide infrastructure demand in the latter part of this year and in 2021. We are excited about restarting our mining operations and ramping up employment in the region when the market for our carbon rebounds during what we believe to be the second half of this year," added Mr. Jensen.
Historically, the coal mining industry has deferred many environmental reclamation liabilities for decades, instead of deeming such permits as "reclamation only" permits, in the hope that certain permits will rise above the margin and become active mines in the future and/or to avoid permanent reclamation of such properties. American Resources, instead, has chosen not to defer that liability and deems such sites as "reclamation only" and advances such sites to receive bond releases. While at times this has created rigid deadlines established by state regulators to complete this reclamation, this work is nevertheless needed at the state and local level and will ultimately result in significantly lower overall operating costs for the Company.
American Resources Corporation will continue to identify operational efficiencies and ways to reduce future liabilities in its continuing goal to be one of the lowest cost operators and responsible stewards of the environment in Central Appalachia and throughout all its coal mining, processing, and transportation operations.
About American Resources Corporation
American Resources Corporation is a supplier of high-quality raw materials to the rapidly growing global infrastructure market. The Company is focused on the extraction and processing of metallurgical carbon, an essential ingredient used in steelmaking. American Resources has a growing portfolio of operations located in the Central Appalachian basin of eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia where premium quality metallurgical carbon deposits are concentrated.
American Resources has established a nimble, low-cost business model centered on growth, which provides a significant opportunity to scale its portfolio of assets to meet the growing global infrastructure market while also continuing to acquire operations and significantly reduce their legacy industry risks. Its streamlined and efficient operations are able to maximize margins while reducing costs. For more information visit americanresourcescorp.com or connect with the Company on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other important factors that could cause the Company's actual results, performance, or achievements or industry results to differ materially from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond American Resources Corporation's control. The words "believes", "may", "will", "should", "would", "could", "continue", "seeks", "anticipates", "plans", "expects", "intends", "estimates", or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain such identifying words. Any forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date of this release. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update or supplement any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. The Company cannot assure you that the projected results or events will be achieved.
Precision Public Relations
JTC Team, LLC
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Vice President of Corporate Finance and Communications
SOURCE: American Resources Corporation
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