PRB coal sales steady as Peabody nets $679M for 3Q2021

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An aerial view of Peabody Energy’s North Antelope Rochelle Mine. (Powder River Basin Resource Council)

Peabody Energy coal sales from the Powder River Basin (PRB) held steady during the third quarter of 2021 (3Q2021) with total revenues from all segments exceeding $679 million, the company announced Thursday.

This past quarter, Peabody Energy shipped a total of 36.7 million tons of coal, 22.7 million of which came from the PRB, according to an Oct. 28 quarterly earnings report.

The cost per ton for PRB coal increased by 17 percent to $9.25 per ton primarily due to higher equipment maintenance and fuel costs in addition to increased overburden removal, per the report, which adds that PRB operations were still able to reap around $37 million.

Total earnings from all segments were slightly lower than the previous quarter, which came in a little over $723 million, with costs per ton increasing across the board.

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For all Peabody operations, coal sales tipped $900 million this past quarter, the highest level of sales seen in the past seven quarters, Peabody CEO and President Jim Grech said in an Oct. 18 preliminary earnings report.

As projected in that report, the official quarterly earnings report on Thursday shows that Peabody closed out 3Q2021 with $587 million in cash and cash equivalents, an increase of more than $38.7 million over the previous quarter.

The company remains optimistic regarding the coal markets moving forward into the final quarter of 2021, Grech said, and will continue to focus on the long-term goals to make Peabody resilient in all market cycles.

As the year’s end approaches, coal shipments from the PRB will remain largely dependent on general economic conditions, weather, availability of labor, rail performance, utility inventory levels, and natural gas prices, per the report.