"Since 1994, there have been 11 mining company defaults among producers with at least $25 million in assets as of their bankruptcy filing date," Zhang reported (table below). America West Resources Inc., headquartered in Salt Lake City, was the most recent coal company to file for bankruptcy, on Feb. 1.
U.S. coal production is down 7 percent, with Central Appalachia declining the most, 16 percent. Zhang noted that more coal plants are scheduled to shut down by 2014 in order to comply with new rules of the Environmental Protection Agency. (Read more)