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United States

Blue Creek Project

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Mine TypeUnderground
  • Coal (metallurgical)
Mining Method
  • Longwall
  • Continuous
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotBlue Creek Project is one of the few remaining untapped High Vol A met coal reserves in the U.S.

On May 3, 2022, Warrior Met announced the relaunch of the development of Blue Creek into a new, world-class longwall mine located in Alabama near existing mines (Mine No. 4, Mine No. 7). The Blue Creek Project will be a sister operation to Mine No. 7 and Mine No. 4.

The Blue Creek project includes surface facilities to be constructed at multiple locations in close proximity.
Related AssetAlabama Operation


Warrior Met Coal Inc. 100 % Indirect



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Deposit type

  • Sedimentary


Regional coal rank in the BWB generally ranges from a low-volatile coal in the southeastern portion of the basin to a high-volatile coal to the northwest. Due to the value of the Mary Lee and Blue Creek seams in the low- to medium-volatile coking coal market at its active Mine No. 4 and Mine No. 7 operations (and adjoining mines) to the south and east of the Property, the subject coal seams have been extensively mined in the region. Laboratory data for the Blue Creek Project indicates a typically high volatile (greater than 31% volatile matter) bituminous coal product. Based on analysis of coal samples, the Mary Lee and Blue Creek seams on the Property are considered a high-volatile metallurgical-grade coal product.

Sediments of the Upper Pottsville Mary Lee coal zone are Lower Pennsylvanian in age and comprised of cyclic sequences including: sandstone, siltstone/sandy shale, shale (and occasional marine shale zones), and coal. Located within the middle of the Black Warrior Basin stratigraphic sequence, the Mary Lee and Blue Creek horizon is situated below drainage throughout the Property and is accessible by slope and shafts. General lithologic characteristics of are described below:
> The New Castle seam is present approximately 15 to 50 feet above the Mary Lee seam.

> Lithologic composition of the roof strata varies throughout the Property, consisting primarily of a coarsening-upward sequence of shale or sandy shale, with occasional sandstone channels located within the immediate or main roof of the Mary Lee seam.

> Although rare, areas, where sandstone occupies the immediate roof of the Mary Lee seam have been observed from drilling records, where scouring of the seam, may occur locally. Where sandstone channels are present within 4 to 6 feet above the Mary Lee (roof bolt horizon), there is potential for increased drawrock conditions and roof instability beneath the sandstone/shale contact.

> The Mary Lee typically averages 1.75 feet within the eastern mine plan area of the Property; and 1.25 feet in the western area. The Mary Lee seam is the lithologically more consistent of the two seams in terms of thickness; however, it generally thins to the west in Area E. Areas where the Mary Lee seam is absent are inferred to more often be associated with structurally faulted horizons than to depositional factors.

> The composition of the stratum comprising the Middleman is highly variable and consists of shale, carbonaceous shale, or fireclay, to sandy shale; from a few inches to over 3.0 feet, averaging 1.0 feet to 1.5 feet in thickness.

> The Blue Creek seam, which represents the better metallurgical quality of the two seams and typically averages 4.35 feet within the eastern mine plan area of the Property; and 2.65 feet in the western area. The Blue Creek seam is subject to more erratic and abrupt thickness variation than the overlying Mary Lee seam. Reasons for this are not entirely clear but may be the result of: seam splitting; channel incision; differential compaction; presence of contemporaneous (“growth”) faults; or other paleographic factors present during or subsequent to deposition of the Blue Creek paleoswamp. The Blue Creek is typically thicker in the eastern portions of the Property and thins or splits to the west.

> The combined thickness of the Mary Lee — Blue Creek typically averages 7.0 feet within the eastern mine plan area of the Property; and 5.0 feet in the western area. Areas within mine plan projections where the combined thickness of the Mary Lee - Blue Creek horizon are less than a minimum cutting height are generally rare, and where this occurs, roof (and/or floor) strata are expected to be excavated as out-of-seam dilution (OSD).

> Compositional variability and thickness of the floor strata underlying the Blue Creek seam typically occurs within a coarsening-downward sequence varying from: very soft, thick fireclay within the immediate floor, to sandy fireclay, shale, sandy shale, and finally sandstone within a first three feet below the seam. Fireclay varies in thickness, from less than a foot to more than 10 feet. Due to inherently high clay content, this stratum is typically moisture-sensitive and may degrade when exposed to water accumulation on the mine floor.



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Crushers and Mills

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CommodityUnitsAvg. AnnualLOM
Coal (metallurgical) Mt 4.1104
All production numbers are expressed as clean coal.

Operational metrics

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Hourly processing capacity  ....  Subscribe
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* According to 2023 study.

Production Costs

Assumed price Coal (metallurgical) USD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2023 study / presentation.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
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Gross revenue (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
EBITDA (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax Cash Flow (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax NPV @ 9% $M USD  ......  Subscribe

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Mine Management

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