Well After years of thinking about it, asking about it, and wondering about it I got some bit to burn. I was out in western PA for work. The fella I got the pail from about (50 pounds) uses it in his outdoor burner like the ones for wood. He didn't tell me where he gets it I did ask, just said that it was local? to Philipsburg, Pa and I wouldn't know it anyway he said. He did say he gets it at the mine and the cost was 90 dollars for egg size.
It is some dirty stuff. Stinks like oily rags even in the pail with temps below freezing. Kinda shocking. The pail did in fact fall over in the back seat of the car.
I added it to a well established anthracite fire, that I had just shaken down. The issue right off the bat is... My god the smoke is yellow/orange.
It was really ok once it caught off but I had to leave the door open just a smidgen so more overfire air could be added. I also closed off the Baro with foil to keep the draft up with the door a bit open. After a half hour or so I was able to close the door fully. After an hour and a half I removed the foil from the baro once the flames settled. Finally just before bed I lowered the damper to the "normal" setting. The next morning I broke up the big lump but didn't have to add coal. Early evening the stove had mostly died down so I shook it down and added the rest of the Bit that was in the pail. This made the fire go well into the next morning. When I added anthracite on top.
Impressions of burning,
It was kinda like you all said, It needs more air to burn especially early on.
It smoked a bunch, but the smell was mostly in the stove(the wife would disagree).
I loved the heat output, Seemed much higher than with Anthracite and lasted as least as long. IMHO it put out more heat But I have no way to prove it.
The final results.
The stove would need a secondary air control installed for burning bit full time.
Bit gives better heat output for the dollar without a doubt.
I would burn it full time if it was available locally.