Brookwood-based Warrior Met Coal has announced a five-year plan to develop a $500 million underground coal mining facility near its current mines in northern Tuscaloosa County.
Once in production, officials say the new facility should create 350 new jobs producing non-thermal metallurgical coal used to make steel in Europe, South America and Asia. The jobs will potentially pay around $85,000 a year, officials said.
While global prices are fluid, the company estimates that coal from the mine would have a value of $150 per metric ton, with more than $1 billion in met coal being produced over the life of the mine.
The Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority will provide more than $26 million in tax breaks for the project.
Construction on the new mine, on Brandon School Road, should begin March 1, with mining commencing in the second quarter of 2025.
“We are extremely excited about our organic growth project that will transform Warrior and allow us to build upon our proven track record of creating value for stockholders. Blue Creek is truly a world-class asset and our commitment to this new initiative demonstrates our continued highly focused business strategy as a premium pure-play met coal producer,” said Walt Scheller, CEO of Warrior.
The Blue Creek development will be a single longwall mine and is expected to have the capacity to produce an average of 4.3 million short tons per annum of premium High-Vol A met coal over the first ten years of production. It is one of the last remaining large-scale untapped premium High Vol A met coal mines in the U.S.
Warrior Met reported fourth quarter 2019 net income of $20.8 million or $0.41 per share, down from $374.2 million, or $7.11 per share in the fourth quarter of 2018. The company was formed in 2015 and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 2017.