Walter Energy is a publicly owned and traded (NYSE:WLT) producer of coal, coke, and natural gas. Our headquarters are located in Birmingham, Alabama. We are a leading producer and exporter of metallurgical coal for the global steel industry from underground and surface mines located in the Unites States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. We also produce thermal and industrial bituminous coal, anthracite, coke and related products, as well as coal bed methane gas (natural gas).
We are a key raw materials supplier to global industries such as steel-makers and foundries. Most of our revenue comes from coal used for steel making rather than for electricity generation.
Our coal is converted to coke by baking the coal in ovens in the absence of air. The resulting coke is used in the production of hot metal in a blast furnace. The coke adds heat to the process, adds carbon – the basic building block of steel, and provides permeability that allows for the necessary flow of gases through the charge of material.
Our strategy is to focus on the continued growth and development of our metallurgical coal resources. We believe that long-term global economic growth supports a growing demand for steel, and, as a consequence, for metallurgical coal. We believe that the high quality, premium metallurgical coal that we produce is a component of steel making for which substitution is not easy. Moreover, this high quality, premium coal is in limited supply globally. The strategic location and quality of our North American metallurgical coal allows us to serve the global steel industry in both the Atlantic and Pacific markets.
We also produce some coal and natural gas that is used for the generation of electricity or for other heat-producing purposes. Our strategy is to continue to produce thermal coal so long as it is economically viable on a mine-by-mine basis, and to continue to produce natural gas. Much of the gas we produce is in conjunction with our mining operations, where the removal of gas from coal seams prior to mining is a safety imperative. The gas we produce is pipeline quality and is delivered and sold to interstate pipeline companies.