Rob R. wrote:What are all the UAE addicts going to do when this coal isn't available anymore?
UAE's coal mining is unique, it's one of the few if not the only Anthracite mine that uses a continuous mining machine. These machines only work were the coal is relatively horizontal. Typically this is not the case for Anthracite coal. It usually has a significant slope. This is not the first time UAE has had problems with the coal seam. Months ago the same problem occurred and they were able to adjust. As I understand it they did some underground mining the old fashioned way. It's much less productive and their output dropped. But they got lucky the coal seam character changed and they were able to resume using the continuous miner machine.
Rest assure the owners of UAE are working on a solution. It may take considerable time or they may just get lucky again. There are others on this forum that are much more knowledgeable than I with UAE's operation. On the other hand, there are significant business environment changes, requirements, etc. considerations that may impact their decisions. One of the owners has is a mining engineer. I'm sure whatever decision they make about their future will be an informed decision. There is lots of coal in the ground, it's not going to go away. How and when it's mined will be a business decision based on a return on capital investment. So put on your crystal ball hat and speculate.
As a UAE coal user I hope they find a solution. They sell good coal, but they are not the only source. I'm sure members of this forum, especially those living in Anthractie coal country, will steer us to good alternate sources.