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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023
or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to

warrior_vert.jpg
Commission File Number: 001-38061
Warrior Met Coal, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
Delaware
81-0706839
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
16243 Highway 216
BrookwoodAlabama35444
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)(Zip Code)

(205554-6150
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, par value $0.01 per shareHCCNew York Stock Exchange
Rights to Purchase Series A Junior Participating Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per share--New York Stock Exchange


Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None.

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.   Yes ý    No o

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.   Yes o    No ý

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ý    No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ý    No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of large accelerated filer, accelerated filer, smaller reporting company and emerging growth company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filerýAccelerated fileroNon-accelerated fileroSmaller reporting company
Emerging growth company 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.    

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. Yes No ý

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). Yes No ý

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes     No ý
The aggregate market value of voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based on the closing price of the common stock on June 30, 2023, the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, as reported by the New York Stock Exchange, was approximately $2.0 billion.
Number of shares of common stock outstanding as of February 12, 2024: 52,255,168

Documents Incorporated By Reference
Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for its 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of December 31, 2023, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report for the year ended December 31, 2023.






TABLE OF CONTENTS
Glossary of Selected Terms
Part I
Item 1.Business
Item 1A.Risk Factors
Item 1B.Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 1C.Cybersecurity
Item 2.Properties
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Item 4.Mine Safety Disclosures
Part II
Item 5.Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
Item 6.[Reserved]
Item 7.Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A.Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8.Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9.Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A.Controls and Procedures
Item 9B.Other Information
Item 9C.Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections
Part III
Item 10.Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11.Executive Compensation
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13.Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14.Principal Accounting Fees and Services
Part IV
Item 15.Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16.Form 10-K Summary
Signatures
Index to Financial Statements
F-1
 
i




FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “Annual Report”) includes statements of our expectations, intentions, plans and beliefs that constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and are intended to come within the safe harbor protection provided by those sections. These statements, which involve risks and uncertainties, relate to analyses and other information that are based on forecasts of future results and estimates of amounts not yet determinable and may also relate to our future prospects, developments and business strategies. We have used the words “anticipate,” “approximately,” “assume,” “believe,” “could,” “contemplate,” “continue,” “estimate,” “expect,” “target,” “future,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should” and similar terms and phrases, including in references to assumptions, in this Annual Report to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made based on expectations and beliefs concerning future events affecting us and are subject to uncertainties and factors relating to our operations and business environment, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control, that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those matters expressed in or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to:

the impact of global pandemics, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, including its impact on our business, employees, suppliers and customers, the steelmaking coal and steel industries, and global economic markets;

the impacts of inflation on our business, including on our costs and our profitability;

our relationships with, and other conditions affecting, our customers;

successful implementation of our business strategies;

unavailability of, or price increases in, the transportation of our metallurgical (“met”) or steelmaking coal;
significant cost increases and fluctuations, and delay in the delivery of raw materials, mining equipment and purchased components;

work stoppages, negotiation of labor contracts, employee relations and workforce availability;

competition and foreign currency fluctuations;

litigation, including claims not yet asserted;

terrorist attacks or security threats, including cybersecurity threats;

global steel demand and the downstream impact on steelmaking coal prices;

impact of weather and natural disasters on demand and production;
a substantial or extended decline in pricing or demand for steelmaking coal;

inherent difficulties and challenges in the coal mining industry that are beyond our control;

our ability to develop or acquire steelmaking coal reserves in an economically feasible manner;

geologic, equipment, permitting, site access, operational risks and new technologies related to mining;

inaccuracies in our estimates of our steelmaking coal reserves;

costs associated with our workers’ compensation benefits;

challenges to our licenses, permits and other authorizations;

challenges associated with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations;

regulatory requirements associated with federal, state and local regulatory agencies, and such agencies’ authority to order temporary or permanent closure of our mines;

1




climate change concerns and our operations’ impact on the environment;

failure to obtain or renew surety bonds on acceptable terms, which could affect our ability to secure reclamation and coal lease obligations;

our obligations surrounding reclamation and mine closure;

our substantial indebtedness and debt service requirements;

our ability to comply with covenants in our Second Amended and Restated Credit Facility (the “ABL Facility” or the "Second Amended and Restated Credit Agreement") and the Indenture (as defined below);

adequate liquidity and the cost, availability and access to capital and financial markets;
our expectations regarding our future cash tax rate as well as our ability to effectively utilize our federal and state net operating loss carry forwards (“NOLs”);

our ability to continue paying our quarterly dividend or pay any special dividend;

the timing and amount of any stock repurchases we make under our stock repurchase program or otherwise;

any consequences related to our transfer restrictions under our certificate of incorporation and our Rights Agreement (as defined below);

geopolitical events, including the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war;

the inability to transport our products to customers due to rail performance issues or the impact of weather and mechanical failures at the McDuffie Terminal at the Port of Mobile in Alabama; and

other factors, including the other factors discussed in “Risk Factors.”

These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements should, therefore, be considered in light of various factors, including those set forth under “Part II, Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” “Part I, Item IA. Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report, and those set forth from time to time in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). These documents are available through our website or through the SEC’s Electronic Data Gathering and Analysis Retrieval system at http://www.sec.gov. In light of such risks and uncertainties, we caution you not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
When considering forward-looking statements made by us in this Annual Report or elsewhere, such statements speak only as of the date on which we make them. New risks and uncertainties arise from time to time, and it is impossible for us to predict these events or how they may affect us. We have no duty to, and do not intend to, update or revise the forward-looking statements in this Annual Report after the date of this Annual Report, except as may be required by law. In light of these risks and uncertainties, you should keep in mind that any forward-looking statement made in this Annual Report or elsewhere might not occur.
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GLOSSARY OF SELECTED TERMS
The following is a glossary of selected terms used in the Annual Report:
Ash.     Impurities consisting of silica, iron, alumina and other incombustible matter that are contained in coal. Since ash increases the weight of coal, it adds to the cost of handling and can affect the burning characteristics of coal.
Assigned reserves.    Coal that is planned to be mined at an operation that is currently operating, currently idled or for which permits have been submitted and plans are eventually to develop the mine and begin mining operations.
Bituminous coal.    A common type of coal with moisture content less than 20% by weight. It is dense and black and often has well-defined bands of bright and dull material.
British thermal unit (“Btu”).    A measure of the thermal energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of pure liquid water one degree Fahrenheit at the temperature at which water has its greatest density (39 degrees Fahrenheit).
Coal seam.    Coal deposits occur in layers. Each layer is called a “seam.”
Coke.    A hard, dry carbon substance produced by heating coal to a very high temperature in the absence of air. Coke is used in the manufacture of iron and steel. Its production results in a number of useful by-products.
Coke strength after reaction ("CSR"). Refers to coke "hot" strength, generally a quality reference in a simulated reaction condition in an industrial blast furnace.
Continuous miner.    A machine used in underground mining to cut coal from the seam and load onto conveyors or shuttle cars in a continuous operation. In contrast, a conventional mining unit must stop extracting in order to begin loading.
Continuous mining.    A form of underground mining that cuts the coal from the seam and loads the coal on to a conveyor system continuously, thus eliminating the separate cycles of cutting, drilling, shooting and loading.
CSX.    CSX Corporation.
EPA.     Environmental Protection Agency.
Development Stage Property. A property that has mining reserves disclosed, but no material extraction.
Hard coking coal (“HCC”).    Hard coking coal is a type of steelmaking coal that is a necessary ingredient in the production of strong coke. It is evaluated based on the strength, yield and size distribution of coke produced from such coal, which is dependent on the rank and plastic properties of the coal. Hard coking coals trade at a premium to other coals due to their importance in producing strong coke and because they are a limited resource.
Indicated mineral resource. That part of a mineral resource for which quantity and grade or quality are estimated on the basis of adequate geological evidence and sampling. The level of geological certainty associated with an indicated mineral resource is sufficient to allow a qualified person (as defined in the SEC rules) to apply modifying factors in sufficient detail to support mine planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. Because an indicated mineral resource has a lower level of confidence than the level of confidence of a measured mineral resource, an indicated mineral resource may only be converted to a probable mineral reserve.
Inferred mineral resource. That part of a mineral resource for which quantity and grade or quality are estimated on the basis of limited geological evidence and sampling. The level of geological uncertainty associated with an inferred mineral resource is too high to apply relevant technical and economic factors likely to influence the prospects of economic extraction in a manner useful for evaluation of economic viability.
Longwall mining.    A form of underground mining that employs a shearer with two rotating drums pulled mechanically back and forth across a long exposed coal face. A hydraulic system supports the roof of the mine while the drums are mining the coal. Conveyors move the loosened coal to an underground mine conveyor that transports coal to the surface. Longwall mining is the most efficient underground mining method.
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Measured mineral resource. That part of a mineral resource for which quantity and grade or quality are estimated on the basis of conclusive geological evidence and sampling. The level of geological certainty associated with measured mineral resource is sufficient to allow a qualified person (as defined in the SEC rules) to apply modifying factors, in sufficient detail to support mine planning and final evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. Because a measured mineral resource has a higher level of confidence than the level of confidence of either an indicated mineral resource or an inferred mineral resource, a measured mineral resource may be converted to a proven mineral reserve or to a probable mineral reserve.
Metallurgical (“met”) or steelmaking coal.    The various grades of coal with suitable carbonization properties to make coke or to be used as a pulverized injection ingredient for steel manufacture, including hard coking coal (see definition above), semi-soft coking coal and PCI coal. Steelmaking coal quality depends on four important criteria: (1) volatility, which affects coke yield; (2) the level of impurities, including sulfur and ash, which affect coke quality; (3) composition, which affects coke strength; and (4) other basic characteristics that affect coke oven safety. Steelmaking coal typically has particularly high Btu characteristics but low ash and sulfur content.
Metric ton.    Equal to approximately 2,205 pounds. The international standard for quoting price per ton is based in U.S. dollars per metric ton. Unless otherwise indicated, the metric ton is the unit of measure referred to in this Annual Report and any reference to “ton(s)” or “tonnage” in this Annual Report refers to metric ton(s). One metric ton is equivalent to 1.10231 short tons.
Mineable Coal.    That portion of the coal reserve base which is commercially mineable and excludes all coal that will be left, such as in pillars, fenders or property barriers.
Mineral Reserve. Is an estimate of tonnage and grade or quality of indicated and measured mineral resources that, in the opinion of the qualified person, can be the basis of an economically viable project. More specifically, it is the economically mineable part of a measured or indicated mineral resource, which includes diluting materials and allowances for losses that may occur when the material is mined or extracted.
Mineral Resource. Is a concentration or occurrence of material of economic interest in or on the Earth's crust in such form, grade or quality, and quantity that there are reasonable prospects for economic extraction. A mineral resource is a reasonable estimate of mineralization, taking into account relevant factors such as cut-off grade, likely mining dimensions, location or continuity, that, with the assumed and justifiable technical and economic conditions, is likely to, in whole or in part, become economically extractable. It is not merely an inventory of all mineralization drilled or sampled.
Modifying Factors. The factors that a qualified person must apply to indicated and measured mineral resources and then evaluate in order to establish the economic viability of mineral reserves. A qualified person must apply and evaluate modifying factors to convert measured and indicated mineral resources to proven and probable mineral reserves. These factors include, but are not restricted to: Mining; processing; metallurgical; infrastructure; economic; marketing; legal; environmental compliance; plans, negotiations, or agreements with local individuals or groups; and governmental factors. The number, type and specific characteristics of the modifying factors applied will necessarily be a function of and depend upon the mineral, mine, property, or project.
MSHA.    Mine Safety and Health Administration.
Overburden.     Layers of earth and rock covering a coal seam. In surface mining operations, overburden must be removed prior to coal extraction.
PCI coal.    Coal used by steelmakers for pulverized coal injection (PCI) into blast furnaces to use in combination with the coke used to produce steel. The use of PCI allows a steel maker to reduce the amount of coke needed in the steel making process.
Preparation plant.    Preparation plants are usually located on a mine site, although one plant may serve several mines. A preparation plant is a facility for crushing, sizing and washing coal to remove impurities and prepare it for use by a particular customer. The washing process has the added benefit of removing some of the coal’s sulfur content.
Probable mineral reserves.  Are the economically mineable part of an indicated and, in some cases, a measured mineral resource.
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Productivity.    As used in this Annual Report, refers to clean metric tons of coal produced per underground man hour worked, as published by the MSHA.
Proven mineral reserves.    Are the economically mineable part of a measured mineral resource and can only result from conversion of a measured mineral resource.
Reclamation.     The process of restoring land and the environment to their original or otherwise rehabilitated state following mining activities. The process commonly includes “recontouring” or reshaping the land to its approximate original appearance, restoring topsoil and planting native grass and ground covers. Reclamation operations are usually underway before the mining of a particular site is completed. Reclamation is closely regulated by both state and federal law.
Recoverable reserves.    Metric tons of mineable coal that can be extracted and marketed after deduction for coal to be left behind within the seam (i.e. pillars left to hold up the ceiling, coal not economical to recover within the mine, etc.) and adjusted for reasonable preparation and handling losses.
Reserve.     That part of a mineral deposit that could be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination.
Roof.     The stratum of rock or other mineral above a coal seam; the overhead surface of a coal working place.
SEC.    Securities and Exchange Commission.
Slurry Impoundment.    The entire structure used for coal slurry waste disposal, including the embankment, basin, beach, pool, and slurry. During the process of mining and cleaning coal, waste is created and must be permanently disposed of in an impoundment. Slurry, a combination of silt, dust, water, bits of coal and clay particles is the most commonly disposed of material held in an impoundment.
Subsidence.     Lateral or vertical movement of surface land that occurs when the roof of an underground mine collapses. Longwall mining causes planned subsidence by the mining out of coal that supports the overlying strata.
Sulfur.     One of the elements present in varying quantities in coal that contributes to environmental degradation when coal is burned. Sulfur dioxide is produced as a gaseous by-product of coal combustion.
Surface mine.    A mine in which the coal lies at or near the surface and can be extracted by removing the covering layer of soil (see “Overburden”) without tunneling underground.
Ton or tonnage.    See “metric ton” above.
Thermal coal.    Coal used by power plants and industrial steam boilers to produce electricity, steam or both. It generally is lower in Btu heat content and higher in volatile matter than steelmaking coal.
Underground mine.    Also known as a “deep” mine, it is usually located several hundred feet or more below the earth’s surface. An underground mine’s coal is typically removed mechanically and transferred by shuttle car, conveyor and hoist to the surface.

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Part I
Item 1. Business
Overview
Warrior Met Coal, Inc. (together with its subsidiaries, the "Company" or "Warrior") is a U.S.-based, environmentally and socially minded supplier to the global steel industry headquartered in Brookwood, Alabama. We are dedicated entirely to mining non-thermal steelmaking coal used as a critical component of steel production by metal manufacturers in Europe, South America and Asia. We are a large-scale, low-cost producer and exporter of premium quality met or steelmaking coal, also known as hard coking coal (“HCC”), operating highly efficient longwall operations in our underground mines based in Alabama, Mine No. 4 and Mine No. 7. Our steelmaking coal production totaled 6.9 million metric tons in 2023. Our natural gas operations remove and sell natural gas from our owned and leased coal seams by reducing natural gas levels in our mines.
We operate as a single reportable segment. See the financial statements beginning on page F-1 of this Annual Report for our consolidated revenues, profit/loss and total assets.
Our Competitive Strengths
We believe that we have the following competitive strengths:
Leading pure play steelmaking coal producer focused on premium steelmaking coal products. Unlike other publicly listed U.S. coal companies, substantially all of our revenue is derived from the sale of premium steelmaking coal in the global seaborne markets. Our resources are primarily allocated to the mining, transportation and marketing of steelmaking coal. The premium nature of our steelmaking coal makes it ideally suited as a base feed coal for steel makers and our Mine No. 7 steelmaking coal results in price realizations near or above the S&P Global Platts Index (as defined below). Our Mine No. 4 steelmaking coal transitioned in the second half of the year from a Mid Vol to a High Vol A quality coal that typically trades at a larger discount to the price of coal from Mine No. 7. The combination of low sulfur, low-to-medium ash, high CSR, low volatility ("Low Vol") to high volatility ("High Vol"), and other characteristics of our coal, as well as our ability to blend them, makes our HCC product an important component within our customers’ overall coking coal requirements. As a result of our premium steelmaking coal, we are able to achieve higher realized prices and operating margins relative to other U.S. steelmaking coal producers.
World-class Blue Creek provides us with a high-return growth project. Blue Creek represents one of the last remaining large scale untapped premium quality, High Vol A coal reserves in the U.S. with a mine life of 40 or more years. High Vol A coals have traditionally priced at a slight discount to the Australian premium Low Vol and the U.S. Low Vol coals; however, we have observed extended periods in which they achieved a premium over these indices. We expect High Vol A coals will continue to become increasingly scarce as a result of Central Appalachian producers mining thinner and deeper reserves, which is expected to continue to support prices. We believe this creates an opportunity for Blue Creek to take advantage of favorable pricing dynamics driven by the declining supply of premium High Vol A coals. We expect our fourth longwall to start at Blue Creek in the second quarter of 2026. The startup of Blue Creek is expected to increase our annual High Vol A production by 4.4 million metric tons per year, thereby increasing our annual production capacity by 60%. We expect to also have the ability to add a fifth longwall which would increase our annual High Vol A production to 9.6 million metric tons, thereby increasing our total annual production capacity by 98% over our nameplate capacity of 7.3 million metric tons. We anticipate that Blue Creek will not only decrease our cash costs and further improve our position in the first quartile global cost curve but, due to Blue Creek's expected low-cost structure, we expect that it will significantly drive down our all-in cash cost breakeven point and enhance our profitability and cash flow generation.
Highly flexible cost structure protects through-the-cycle profitability. We have “variabilized” our cost structure in our labor, royalties and logistics contracts, increasing the proportion of our cost structure that varies in response to changes in HCC prices based on a variety of indices. Our logistics costs are structured to reduce cash requirements in lower HCC price environments and to increase cash requirements within a range with higher HCC prices. Our royalties are calculated as a percentage of the price we realize and therefore increase or decrease with changes in HCC prices. In addition, we can adjust our usage of continuous miner units in response to HCC pricing. Our variable cost structure dramatically lowers our cash cost of sales if our realized price falls, while being effectively capped in higher price environments, allowing us to generate significant operating cash flow. Our highly flexible cost structure provides us with a key competitive advantage relative to our competitors and which we expect should allow us to remain profitable in all coal market conditions.
Robust logistics and significant logistical cost advantage to the seaborne market. We have developed a logistics strategy based on multiple modalities, multiple carriers for both rail and river transportation and multiple terminals to ensure reliability of supply and cost-competitive rates. Our ability to move our coals via rail and/or barge is a significant advantage for
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Warrior. Our two operating mines and Blue Creek are located approximately 300 miles from our primary export terminal capacity in Mobile, Alabama. Our proximity to port and the flexibility of our logistics networks underpin our logistical cost advantage compared to other U.S. steelmaking coal producers. We sell our coal to a diversified customer base of blast furnace steel producers, primarily located in Europe, South America and Asia. We have a shipping time and distance advantage serving customers throughout the Atlantic Basin relative to competitors located in Australia and Western Canada. Our strategic location is enhanced by our long-tenured, well-established customer portfolio.
High realized prices and low variable cost structure drive industry leading margins. The coal from our mines is competitive in quality with the premium HCC produced in Australia, which is used to set pricing for the industry. The combination of low sulfur, low-to-medium ash, Low Vol to High Vol A and high coking strength drives our consistently high price realization relative to other U.S. steelmaking coal producers who typically focus on lower rank steelmaking coals. We believe Mine No. 4 and Mine No. 7 are two of the lowest cost steelmaking coal mines in North America.
Clean balance sheet to drive robust cash flow generation. Unlike other U.S. coal producers in our peer group, we have no pension or OPEB legacy liabilities. With minimal legacy liabilities, we are not burdened by the annual fixed obligations that are typically associated with these types of liabilities. Our clean balance sheet and its low sustaining capital expenditure requirements position us to generate strong cash flows across a range of steelmaking coal price environments. Additionally, we expect our cash flows to benefit from a low cash tax rate, which will enable strong cash conversion from our operating profits.
Disciplined financial policies to ensure stable performance. We believe maintaining financial discipline will provide us with the ability to manage the volatility in our business resulting from changes in steelmaking coal prices. We intend to preserve a strong and conservative balance sheet, with sufficient liquidity and financial flexibility to support our operations. As such, we will seek to maintain a conservative financial leverage target of 1.50 - 2.00x based on normalized EBITDA and seek to maintain minimum liquidity of $250 million during the development of Blue Creek. We plan to continually evaluate our liquidity needs based on our estimated capital needs. As of December 31, 2023, we had approximately $845.6 million of available liquidity consisting of $107.4 million of borrowing capacity under the ABL Facility and $738.2 million of cash and cash equivalents. In the event we generate cash flow in excess of the needs of our business, we plan to take a holistic approach to capital allocation and will evaluate a range of options, including debt repayment. We will seek to preserve our capital structure with low financial leverage that is largely free from legacy liabilities in order to ensure maximum free cash flow generation.
Highly experienced leadership team with deep industry expertise. Our Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), Walter J. Scheller, III, is the former CEO of Walter Energy, Inc. ("Walter Energy") and has ten years of direct experience managing Mine No. 4 and Mine No. 7, and over 30 years of experience in longwall coal mining. Furthermore, following the acquisition of certain assets of Walter Energy, we hired several key personnel with extensive direct operational experience in steelmaking coal longwall mining, including our Chief Operating Officer, Jack Richardson, and a member of our board of directors (the "Board"), Stephen D. Williams. We have a strong record of operating safe mines and are committed to environmental excellence. Our dedication to safety is at the core of all of our overall operations as we work to further reduce workplace incidents by focusing on policy awareness and accident prevention. Our continued emphasis on enhancing our safety performance has resulted in total reportable incidence rates of 2.02 at Mine No. 4 and 1.82 at Mine No. 7 for the year ended December 31, 2023, which is 57% lower than the national total reportable incidence rate for all underground coal mines in the United States of 4.39 for the nine months ended September 30, 2023, which represents the latest data available.

Strong focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water usage. Investors and other third parties are increasingly focused on sustainability matters. With a view towards being an industry leader in environmental stewardship, we are actively engaged in several initiatives that occur before, during and after mining to reduce greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions, including the capture of coalbed methane. In 2022, we refocused on our long-term environmental goals and successfully set aggressive, yet achievable targets for decreasing our carbon footprint. In connection with this strategy, we established targets which include a 50% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 and a 25% water usage reduction by 2030 from our 2021 baseline year. We are pleased to report that in 2022, we successfully captured and collected approximately 69% of the methane produced in our mines which would have otherwise been vented to the atmosphere resulting in a 16% reduction in total methane emissions as compared to the 2021 baseline year. We were also able to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 13% compared to the 2021 baseline year.

We also operate a low-quality gas plant, which is able to improve the quality of ordinarily unsaleable gas that would otherwise escape to the atmosphere. The improved gas is then sold and used by consumers. This plant operates using a complex system that concentrates the methane by removing other gases such as nitrogen and oxygen. In 2021, in conjunction with a third party, we also installed our first flare system to destroy methane vented from open degasification boreholes. We also continuously work to evaluate and test emerging technologies that can optimize our water usage and successfully achieved a
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99.93% compliance record with the EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES") program, which addresses water pollution by regulating point source discharges. We remain committed to taking steps to decrease our carbon footprint by reducing GHG emissions and minimizing our impact on the environment.

Our Business Strategies

Our objective is to increase stockholder value through our continued focus on asset optimization and cost management to drive profitability and cash flow generation. Our key strategies to achieve this objective are described below:

Maximize profitable production. In the year ended December 31, 2023, we produced 6.9 million metric tons of steelmaking coal from Mine No. 7 and Mine No. 4. Based on our management’s operational experience, we are confident in our ability to continue to produce at or close to capacity in a safe and efficient manner, and with a comparable cost profile to our current costs, should market conditions warrant.

Maximize organic growth and profitability. On May 3, 2022, we announced the relaunch of the development of Blue Creek into a new, world-class longwall mine located in Alabama near our existing mines. The new single longwall mine at Blue Creek is expected to have the capacity to produce an average of 4.4 million metric tons per annum of premium High Vol A steelmaking coal over the first ten years of production. Once fully developed, we expect Blue Creek to be a transformational investment that will increase annual production capacity by 60% and expand our product portfolio to our global customers, offering two premium HCCs that are expected to achieve the highest premium steelmaking coal prices in the seaborne markets. We will also have the ability to add a fifth longwall which would increase our annual High Vol A production to 9.6 million metric tons, thereby increasing our total annual production capacity by 98% over our nameplate capacity of 7.3 million metric tons. We anticipate that Blue Creek will decrease our cash costs and further improve our position in the first quartile global cost curve and, due to Blue Creek's expected low-cost structure, we expect that it will significantly drive down our all-in cash cost breakeven point and enhance our profitability and cash flow generation.

Broaden our marketing reach and maintain strong correlation between realized coal prices and the S&P Platts Index. We have implemented a strategy to improve both our sales and marketing focus, with a goal of achieving better pricing relative to the S&P Platts Index for our Mine No. 7 coal and the East Coast High Vol A indices for our Mine No. 4 coal, which includes: (i) opportunistic selling into the spot steelmaking coal market and (ii) to a lesser extent selected instances of entering into fixed price contracts. Each of these elements is intended to further embed our coal product among a broader group of steel customers. Traditionally, we have predominantly marketed our coal to European and South American buyers. In recent years, due to a combination of market dynamics and geopolitical events we have expanded the marketing of our coal to Asia and we are actively marketing our coal to India and Southeast Asia buyers. For the year ended December 31, 2023, our sales geographic customer mix was 48% in Europe, 29% in Asia, 21% in South America and 2% in the U.S. When advantageous, we work with strategic partners to assist in the marketing of our coals. We benefit from the local presence and knowledge of these partners to capture the highest value for our premium coals.

Capitalize on opportunities for technological innovation to continue to reduce our impact on the environment. We are fully committed to being a responsible corporate citizen to our employees, customers, communities, and other stakeholders. We are committed to providing our products in a responsible manner. In 2022, we partnered with a third-party consultant to develop a sustainability strategy that is focused on the following objectives, among others: materiality and risk assessment, creating and tracking measurable goals, GHG reduction, water usage reduction, enhancing governance standards and performing a community impact assessment. In 2023, we committed to installing a new Environmental Management Information System ("EMIS"), which we plan to continually improve and enhance over time. The EMIS system enhances our ability to monitor and track water quality and usage, waste management, and GHG emissions, which streamlines our ability to measure and evaluate our environmental performance data against our stated objectives and goals. Final evaluations are being conducted towards our goal of installing the first full-scale Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer ("RTO") to address ventilation air methane ("VAM") emissions on our property. With permits obtained in 2023 and fabrication anticipated to begin in 2024, this RTO system is a significant step towards our emission reduction goals. The RTO system is anticipated to result in material emission reductions, and we are currently evaluating other locations where this technology would be environmentally beneficial.
Description of Our Business
Our underground mining operations are headquartered in Brookwood, Alabama and as of December 31, 2023, based on a reserve report prepared by Marshall Miller & Associates, Inc., were estimated to have approximately 82.9 million metric tons of recoverable reserves located in west central Alabama between the cities of Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. Operating at approximately 2,000 feet below the surface, Mines No. 4 and No. 7 are two of the deepest underground coal mines in North
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America. The steelmaking coal is mined using longwall extraction technology with development support from continuous miners.
Our two operating mines and Blue Creek are located approximately 300 miles from our export terminal at the Port of Mobile in Alabama, which we believe to be the shortest mine-to-port distance of any U.S.-based steelmaking coal producer. Our low and variable cost structure, and our flexible and efficient rail and barge network underpins our cost advantage and dependable access to the seaborne markets. We sell our coal to a diversified customer base of blast furnace steel producers, primarily located in Europe, South America and Asia. We have a shipping time and distance advantage serving our customers throughout the Atlantic Basin relative to competitors located in Australia and Western Canada.
Our HCC, mined from the Southern Appalachian region of the United States, is characterized by low-to-high volatile matter (“VM”) and high coke strength after reaction (“CSR”). These qualities make our coal ideally suited as a coking coal for the manufacture of steel. As a result of our high-quality coal, our realized price has historically approximated the Platts Premium Low Volatility FOB Australian Index price (the “S&P Platts Index”). Our Mine No. 4 steelmaking coal transitioned in the second half of the year from a Mid Vol to a High Vol A quality coal that typically trades at a larger discount to the price of Mine No. 7 coal. We now primarily target the East Coast High Vol A indices price for our Mine No. 4 coal. In contrast, coal produced in the Central Appalachian region of the United States is typically characterized by medium-to-high VM and a CSR that is below the requirements of the Australian Index price.
The steelmaking coal from our Mines No. 4 and No. 7 is sold as high-quality Low Vol and High Vol A steelmaking coal. Mines No. 4 and No. 7 are located near Brookwood, Alabama, and are serviced by CSX railroad. A coal producer is typically responsible for transporting the coal from the mine to an export coal-loading facility. Exported coal is usually sold at the loading port, with the buyer responsible for further transportation from the port to their location. Both mines also have access to our barge load-out facility on the Black Warrior River. Service via both rail and barge culminates in delivery to the Port of Mobile in Alabama, where shipments are exported to our international customers via ocean vessels. Substantially all of our steelmaking coal sales consist of sales to international customers. We are currently in the process of testing alternative outbound logistics routes to increase transportation and vessel shipping optionality.
We also have 67.6 million metric tons of recoverable reserves and 39.7 million metric tons of coal resources exclusive of reserves, which total 107.3 million metric tons, at Blue Creek located to the northwest of Mine No. 4, based on a reserve report prepared by Marshall Miller and Associates, Inc. We have the ability to acquire adjacent reserves that would increase total reserves to 144 million metric tons at Blue Creek. According to our third-party reserve report, the steelmaking coal reserve base of Blue Creek is a high-quality High Vol A coal that is characterized by low-sulfur and high CSR. Our two operating mines have demonstrated an ability to produce an average run rate of 7.0 million metric tons of HCC and 7.5 million metric tons of HCC when operating at full capacity.
Coal Preparation and Blending
Our steelmaking coal mines have preparation and blending facilities convenient to each mine. The steelmaking coal preparation and blending facilities receive, blend, process and ship steelmaking coal that is produced from the mines. Using these facilities, we are able to ensure a consistent quality and efficiently blend our steelmaking coal to meet our customers’ specifications.
Marketing, Sales and Customers
Steelmaking coal prices can differ substantially by region and are impacted by many factors, including the overall economy, demand for steel, location, market, quality and type of steelmaking coal, mine operation costs and the cost of customer alternatives. The major factors influencing our business are the global economy and demand for steel. Our operations’ high-quality steelmaking coal is considered among the highest quality steelmaking coals in the world and is preferred as a base steelmaking coal in our customers’ blends. Our marketing strategy is to focus on international markets mostly in Europe and South America where we have a shipping time and distance advantage and where our steelmaking coal is in demand.
We focus on long-term customer relationships where we have a competitive advantage. We typically sell our steelmaking coal under fixed supply contracts primarily with indexed pricing terms and volume terms of one to three years. Some of our sales of steelmaking coal can, however, occur in the spot market as dictated by available supply and market demand. For more information regarding our customers, see Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report.
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Competition
Substantially all of our steelmaking coal sales are exported. Our major competitors are businesses that sell into our core business areas of Europe, South America and Asia. We primarily compete with producers of premium steelmaking coal from Australia, Canada, Russia, Mozambique and the United States. The principal factors on which we compete are steelmaking coal prices at the port of delivery, coal quality and characteristics, customer relationships and the reliability of supply. The demand for our steelmaking coal is significantly dependent on the general global economy and the worldwide demand for steel. Although there are significant challenges in the current economy, we believe that we have competitive strengths in our business areas that provide us with distinct advantages.
Suppliers
Supplies used in our business include petroleum-based fuels, explosives, tires, conveyance structure, ventilation supplies, lubricants and other raw materials as well as spare parts and other consumables used in the mining process. We use third-party suppliers for a significant portion of our equipment rebuilds and repairs, drilling services and construction. We believe adequate substitute suppliers are available and we are not dependent on any one supplier; however, we procure some equipment from a concentrated group of suppliers, and obtaining this equipment often involves long lead times. Occasionally, demand for such equipment by mining companies can be high and some types of equipment may be in short supply. We continually seek to develop relationships with suppliers that focus on reducing our costs while improving quality and service. We also purchase services at our mine sites, including services related to maintenance for mining equipment, construction and temporary labor. We do not believe that we have any material operational or financial risk associated with our dependence on any individual service providers.
Inflation
We have exposure to inflation in connection with the purchase of supplies that are used directly or indirectly in the normal course of production, such as belt structure, roof bolts, cable, magnetite, rock dust and other supplies, plus labor and parts used to repair and rebuild equipment. These inflationary pressures have contributed to rising costs for us and may continue to do so in the future. We are applying a number of different strategies to mitigate the impact of inflation on our operations, including placing purchase orders earlier, utilizing short term contracts and leveraging our supplier relationships.
Environmental, Social and Governance
The Company takes pride in its environmental record and strives to be an industry leader in environmental stewardship. We recently partnered with a third-party consultant to develop a sustainability strategy. This plan was made publicly available in January 2023 and can be found in the "Corporate Sustainability" section of our website. The Company recently released its annual Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance ("ESG") sustainability report that was prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative Standards (Core Option) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board standards for Coal Operations and highlights our goals of becoming an industry leader in environmental stewardship, maintaining a strong environmental compliance record and safety statistics that are better than the industry average, and forming collaborative partnerships focused on workforce development and our communities.
We continually invest in new technologies to lessen our environmental impact and to improve our efficiencies and productivity. Our executive leadership team, from our Board down, is fully committed to being a responsible corporate citizen to our employees, customers, communities, and other stakeholders. Highlights of our sustainability strategies are detailed below.
Environmental
We work to safely and efficiently produce some of the highest quality HCC steelmaking coal for our global customers while prioritizing the safety of our environmental footprint. This includes accounting for and working to reduce our GHG emissions, water usage and impact on biodiversity.
GHG Emissions
We are proud of our environmental performance, including our award-winning reclamation activities. In 2022, we successfully captured and collected approximately 69% of the methane produced in our mines which would have otherwise been vented to the atmosphere resulting in a 16% reduction in total methane emissions as compared to the 2021 measured
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baseline. We were also able to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 13% compared to the 2021 baseline year. These emission reductions have been realized even with a 13% increase in production compared to the baseline year.

Methane is collected and then processed at our gas plant, transforming it into a useful and marketable gas product. We have expanded our degasification and flaring efforts in strategic locations in 2022 and 2023 and will continue to be more aggressive in proactive degasification processes in coming years to achieve our stated goals. Our flare system expansion has resulted in the verified offset of more than 63-thousand metric tons of CO2e for periods ending in 2022, as recognized by the California Air Resource Board under the California Global Warming Solutions Program.

Final evaluations are being conducted towards our goal of installing the first full-scale RTO to address VAM emissions on our property. With permits obtained in 2023 and fabrication anticipated to begin in 2024, this RTO system is a significant step towards our emission reduction goals. The RTO system is anticipated to result in material emission reductions, and we are currently evaluating other locations where this technology would be environmentally beneficial.
Water Management

We continuously work to evaluate and test emerging technologies that can optimize our water usage. Freshwater is primarily used for processing coal or sent underground for use in mining operations. This optimizes the performance of our mining machinery and helps create and maintain a safe environment for our workforce. In 2023, we earned the Water Quality Stewardship Award from the Alabama Mining Association, reflecting our ongoing dedication to environmental excellence. In 2023, we committed to new EMIS software, which enhances our ability to optimize and monitor our environmental performance. Further, we collaborated with Innovative Wireless Technologies ("IWT") to install wireless sensors which allows us to enhance our real-time monitoring of environmental and water data using a mesh node communication system which provides constant readings of water levels and certain water quality parameters at sensitive locations.

We also successfully completed testing of a dewatering pilot system for slurry tailings. After more than a year of testing and optimizing the system, we are pleased to report successful results of the dry slurry system. Due to the success observed during the testing of the pilot unit, Warrior made an immediate commitment towards the construction of the full-scale dry slurry system. The full-scale system was completed in October 2023, more than two years ahead of our previously stated plans. This unit is currently undergoing testing and system optimization while awaiting final regulatory approvals.

The second portion of the final phase of our water efficiency plans involves automating mechanical controls for water withdrawal systems across several critical Warrior sites. This is currently the only aspect of the plan not yet completed but is anticipated to be installed well ahead of schedule. The implementation of the newly installed full-scale dry slurry system and monitoring system is anticipated to allow the company to achieve our stated goals. The automating of mechanical controls for water withdrawal systems should enable Mine 7 to recycle more than 50% of water utilized for processing, thus resulting in a significant long-term reduction of our water demand.

In addition to improving how we track and measure water consumption, we will strategically draw water from local rivers and springs to store in reservoirs which can be utilized during periods of low flow to prevent possible stress to the local hydrologic balance. These actions, which are foundational to a three-phased water efficiency and optimization plan developed in 2022, provide an actionable pathway to meet and surpass our goal of reducing water usage by 25% by 2030.
Waste Management
We have a strong environmental compliance record (99.93%) with the EPA's NPDES program, which addresses water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into U.S. waters. According to the World Resources Institute, we do not have any mines operating within or near regions identified with high or extremely high baseline water stress. In 2023, we implemented the EMIS software, which enhances our monitoring and tracking for water quality and usage, waste management, and GHG emissions, among other items. Currently, we control nine certified tailings impoundment facilities that are subject to MSHA regulations and certification. Of these nine impoundments, seven are classified as low hazard facilities and only two of the seven are active. Our two high-hazard tailings impoundments undergo rigorous risk analyses and regular independent inspections to ensure safety and compliance.
Biodiversity
We recognize the importance of our natural surroundings and aim to be the best stewards of the delicate and diverse natural ecosystem located on our properties and within the surrounding areas. In 2021 and 2022, we earned the Land Stewardship Award from the Alabama Mining Association for a wetland development project. We strive to conduct all mining-related activities and environmental studies with the intent to minimize ecosystem impacts. Our Alabama Department of Environmental Management-authorized NPDES discharge permits include quarterly toxicity tests that detect potential water
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quality issues that could impact local aquatic life. If any evidence of potential impact is discovered, alternative operational plans are activated. Field experts are also consulted during the permitting process to provide guidance related to potential biodiversity impacts.
Social
Safety
The safety of our employees is rooted in our core values. Our health and safety policies and programs are the cornerstone of our operating philosophy and are integrated into all of our daily operations and activities. We are proud of our safety record, which includes a safety incidence rate that has consistently been over 20% better than the U.S. industry average rate. In 2023, our total incidence rate was 1.90, which is 57% lower than the national total reportable incidence rate for all underground coal mines in the United States of 4.39 for the nine months ended September 30, 2023, which represents the latest data available.
Training

We strive to recruit, hire and retain a talented and diverse team of people. Our employees are supported with training and development opportunities to pursue their career paths and to ensure compliance with our policies. We incorporate training best practices, provide continuing education and constantly reinforce individual skills. Our employees make us who we are, and we offer tools to identify, grow and nurture our talent, including our future leaders development program, annual supervisor and development training, employee education assistance and annual performance evaluations. In 2023, our training initiatives were expansive: over 260 training sessions were conducted, involving more than 1,500 employees. This resulted in over 4,500 training days, accumulating to more than 36,000 hours of dedicated training. These figures underscore our commitment to providing comprehensive and practical training to our workforce.
Human Capital
As of December 31, 2023, we had 1,143 employees, of whom 711 were hourly employees and 432 were salaried employees. The Company prioritizes employee safety, wellbeing, personal and professional development, and diversity and inclusion. The Board's Compensation Committee has direct oversight of our human resource policies and practices, including diversity, equity, and inclusion, employee relations, workplace culture, and talent development and retention.
Compensation and Benefits: To recruit and retain the best and brightest talent, we have established a top-tier benefits package, which includes competitive salaries and performance-based incentives. We also offer full-time employees the opportunity to participate in retirement benefits through a company-sponsored 401(k) account which includes a generous company match. Our total compensation and benefits package is designed to stay competitive and to assist in achieving our goals of attracting, rewarding, and retaining employees by always focusing on employees and their families first. We also offer our employees paid time off and an Employee Assistance Program which is a comprehensive network of accredited counselors and other specialized professional who provide support on several issues, including mental health, relationships, wellbeing, stress and personal finances. In 2023, we launched a volunteer PTO program through which employees receive PTO to volunteer with organizations or causes that are important to them.
Talent Attraction: We acknowledge the importance of developing and growing a strong and diverse workforce. Our policies and practices support diversity and equality. To help achieve this, we engage a broad range of communication channels, tools, and processes to attract highly capable external candidates to generate an experienced and diverse candidate pool. We also work with universities to attract top candidates in key fields, while seeking to develop our in-house talent and providing opportunities for employees to increase their level of responsibility within the organization. We have also elevated our efforts on minority and veteran recruiting by visiting and recruiting from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, growing existing partnerships and seeking new partnerships with groups to provide diverse internships, and attending and recruiting at military job fairs.

Employee Development and Retention: We also recognize that employee engagement, development and talent retention are important factors in maintaining a highly skilled workforce and minimizing time and costs associated with turnover. In addition to the highly competitive compensation and benefits package discussed above, our retention program focuses on valuing employees, their families, and helping each employee have an appropriate work-life balance. To monitor this balance and other aspects of engagement, we seek candid feedback from employees via an annual employee engagement survey. The results are aggregated and then used by management to continually improve our culture and retain our employees. We also offer tuition reimbursement opportunities for those who wish to further their education. In 2023, we invested $0.4 million in leadership development training demonstrating our commitment to fostering a skilled and capable workforce. These
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efforts help employees pursue career paths that are both interesting and rewarding, and will also assist in their pursuit of their individual goals, while at the same time helping to develop robust talent pipelines that support broader company succession planning efforts.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: We work to foster an environment in which each person can thrive. This includes treating everyone with respect, valuing diversity, and fostering safe and inclusive environments. Warrior's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and Human Rights Policy promote and support diversity by offering a workplace in which people are protected from harassment and discrimination based on gender, race, age, sexual orientation, and other factors. Employees have the right and are empowered to report issues via several reporting channels, including our third party-managed confidential employee hotline should they wish to remain anonymous. As of December 31, 2023, our Board was 33% female and 17% racially and/or ethnically diverse and more than 24% of our workforce was racially or ethnically diverse, up from 18% as of December 31, 2022. While only 4% of our entire full-time workforce is comprised of women, women play an integral role across our operations and support facilities, like our central mining office, where they represent more than 33% of the workforce.
Human Rights: Respect for human rights is a fundamental value, and we are committed to treating employees and stakeholders with dignity, respect, and equality consistent with the United Nations Universal Declaration for Human Rights. In an effort to ensure a safe and inclusive work environment, Warrior has implemented policies and in 2024, we are enhancing our corporate training program to include training on human rights, anti-bullying, harassment, and discrimination.
Community Engagement
We understand the importance of making a difference in our community and that the support of our community is essential to our current and future mining operations. Effectively engaging with members of the community is just as important as mining our premium quality steelmaking coal for our customers around the world. In that spirit, we work to proactively foster constructive relationships that are founded on trust, dialogue, and collaboration for the overall benefit of our community. This includes engagement with local schools, landowners, local government officials, and residents—many of whom are also Warrior employees or their family members. Our External Affairs group works and engages with trade associations, community partners, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and nonprofit organizations to provide helpful information and expertise regarding the Company and industry. In 2023, we contributed over one million dollars to local nonprofits through sponsorships and other donations. In 2024, our volunteer PTO benefit will continue to be available to all full-time employees to enable them to provide hands-on assistance to organizations or causes that are important to them throughout each year.
Governance
Our Board oversees our policies, creating strategies and initiatives that embrace ESG matters. The Board's Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee has responsibility for developing our Corporate Governance Guidelines, recommending qualified Board candidates and overseeing evaluation of the Board and our management team. Additionally, all four Board Committees (Nominating and Corporate Governance, Audit, Compensation, and Sustainability, Environmental Health and Safety) play specific and important roles in setting the tone for the Company by providing oversight for and fostering a culture of strong corporate governance, ethics, and compliance as described in the charters on our website.
The Company has dedicated employees that oversee the Company’s efforts with respect to various environmental issues, including our efforts with respect to the programs discussed above. Through their efforts, as well as oversight by our senior management and the Board, we continue to make significant progress in improving our environmental stewardship. The Sustainability, Environmental, Health & Safety Committee of the Board (the "EHS Committee") is tasked with assessing the effectiveness of the Company’s sustainability, environmental, health and safety policies, programs and initiatives, as well as reviewing and monitoring the Company’s compliance with applicable sustainability, environmental, health and safety laws, rules and regulations. The EHS Committee receives quarterly reports from Company management, during which the EHS Committee reviews and discusses the Company’s various sustainability, environmental, health and safety initiatives and any issues related to these areas.
Environmental and Regulatory Matters
Our businesses are subject to numerous federal, state and local laws and regulations with respect to matters such as permitting and licensing, employee health and safety, reclamation and restoration of property and protection of the environment. In the U.S., environmental laws and regulations include, but are not limited to, the Clean Air Act and its state and local counterparts with respect to air emissions; the Clean Water Act and its state counterparts with respect to water discharges and dredge and fill operations; the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and its state counterparts with respect to solid and hazardous waste generation, treatment, storage and disposal, as well as the regulation of underground storage tanks; the
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Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and its state counterparts with respect to releases, threatened releases and remediation of hazardous substances; the Endangered Species Act with respect to protection of threatened and endangered species; the National Environmental Policy Act with respect to the impacts of federal actions such as the issuance of permits and licenses; and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 and its state counterparts with respect to environmental protection and reclamation standards for mining activities. Compliance with these laws and regulations may be costly and time-consuming and may delay commencement, continuation or expansion of exploration or production at our operations. These laws are constantly evolving and may become more stringent. The ultimate impact of complying with existing laws and regulations is not always clearly known or determinable due in part to the fact that certain implementing regulations for these environmental laws have not yet been promulgated and in certain instances are undergoing revision or judicial review. These laws and regulations, particularly new legislative or administrative proposals (or judicial interpretations of existing laws and regulations) related to the protection of the environment, could result in substantially increased capital, operating and compliance costs and could have a material adverse effect on our operations and/or, along with analogous foreign laws and regulations, our customers’ ability to use our products.
Due in part to the extensive and comprehensive regulatory requirements, along with changing interpretations of these requirements, violations occur from time to time in our industry and at our operations. Expenditures relating to environmental compliance are a major cost consideration for our operations and environmental compliance is a significant factor in mine design, both to meet regulatory requirements and to minimize long-term environmental liabilities. To the extent that these expenditures, as with all costs, are not ultimately reflected in the prices of our products and services, operating results will be reduced. We believe that our major North American competitors are confronted by substantially similar conditions and thus do not believe that our relative position with regard to such competitors is materially affected by the impact of environmental laws and regulations. However, the costs and operating restrictions necessary for compliance with environmental laws and regulations may have an adverse effect on our competitive position with regard to foreign producers and operators who may not be required to undertake equivalent costs in their operations. In addition, the specific impact on each competitor may vary depending on a number of factors, including the age and location of its operating facilities, applicable legislation and its production methods.
Permitting and Approvals
Numerous governmental permits and approvals are required for mining and natural gas operations. We are required to prepare and present to federal, state and local authorities data pertaining to the effect or impact that any proposed exploration project for production of coal or gas may have on the environment, the public and our employees. In addition, we must also submit a comprehensive plan for mining and reclamation upon the completion of mining operations. The requirements are costly and time-consuming and may delay commencement or continuation of exploration, production or expansion at our operations. Typically, we submit necessary mining permit applications several months, or even years, before we anticipate mining a new area.
Applications for permits and permit renewals at our mining and gas operations are subject to public comment and may be subject to litigation from third parties seeking to deny issuance of a permit or to overturn the applicable agency’s grant of the permit application, which may also delay commencement, continuation or expansion of our mining and gas operations. Further, regulations provide that applications for certain permits or permit modifications in the U.S. can be delayed, refused or revoked if an officer, director or a stockholder with a 10% or greater interest in the entity is affiliated with or is in a position to control another entity that has outstanding permit violations or has had a permit revoked. Significant delays in obtaining, or denial of, permits could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Mine Safety and Health
The MSHA, under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (the “Mine Act”) and the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (the “MINER Act”), as well as regulations adopted under these federal laws impose rigorous safety and health standards on mining operations. Such standards are comprehensive and affect numerous aspects of mining operations, including, but not limited to: training of mine personnel, mining procedures, ventilation, blasting, use of mining equipment, dust and noise control, communications and emergency response procedures. For instance, MSHA implemented a rule in August 2014 to reduce miners’ exposure to respirable coal dust, which reduced respirable dust standards for certain occupants and miners and required certain monitoring of shift dust levels. In August 2016, Phase III of MSHA’s respirable dust rule went into effect, further lowering the respirable dust standards. Separately, MSHA has implemented a rule imposing a requirement on certain continuous mining machines, requiring operators to provide proximity detection systems. MSHA monitors compliance with these laws and standards by regularly inspecting mining operations and taking enforcement actions where MSHA believes there to be non-compliance. These federal mine safety and health laws and regulations have a significant effect on our operating costs.
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Workers’ Compensation and Black Lung
We are insured for workers’ compensation benefits for work related injuries that occur within our operations. Workers’ compensation liabilities, including those related to claims incurred but not reported, are recorded principally using annual valuations based on discounted future expected payments using historical data of the operating subsidiary or combined insurance industry data when historical data is limited. Beginning on June 1, 2020, the Company has a deductible policy where the Company is responsible for the first $1.0 million for each workers' compensation related claim from any of our employees.
In addition, certain of our subsidiaries are responsible for medical and disability benefits for black lung disease under the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, the Mine Act and the Black Lung Benefits Revenue Act of 1977 and the Black Lung Benefits Reform Act of 1977, each as amended (together, the “Black Lung Benefits Act”), and are insured under a guaranteed cost insurance policy beginning on April 1, 2016 through May 31, 2018 for black lung claims of any of our employees. From June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2020, the Company had a deductible policy where the Company was responsible for the first $0.5 million for each black lung claim from any of our employees. Beginning on June 1, 2020, the Company has a deductible policy where the Company is responsible for the first $1.0 million for each black lung related claim from any of our employees.
We also assumed all of the black lung liabilities of Walter Energy and its U.S. subsidiaries. We are self-insured for these black lung liabilities and have posted $18.6 million in surety bonds and $9.0 million of collateral recognized as short term investments in addition to maintaining a black lung trust of $1.8 million that was acquired from Walter Energy. We received a letter from the Department of Labor ("DOL") on February 21, 2020, under its new process for self-insurance renewals, which would require us to increase the amount of collateral posted to $39.8 million, but we appealed such increase. We received another letter from the DOL on December 8, 2021 requesting additional information to support our appeal of the collateral requested by the DOL. On February 9, 2022, the DOL held a conference with representatives from the Company related to our appeal. On July 12, 2022, we received a decision on our appeal from the DOL lowering the amount of collateral required to be posted from $39.8 million to $28.0 million. We appealed this decision. In addition, on January 19, 2023, the DOL proposed revisions to regulations under the Black Lung Benefits Act governing authorization of self-insurers. The proposed rules require, among other requirements, all self-insured operators to post security of at least 120 percent of their projected black lung liabilities. The changes in the estimated claims to be paid or changes in the amount of collateral required by the DOL may have a greater impact on our profitability and cash flows in the future. Under the Black Lung Benefits Act, each coal mine operator must make payments to a trust fund for the payment of benefits and medical expenses to claimants who last worked in the coal industry prior to January 1, 1970. The trust fund is funded by an excise tax on production; however, this excise tax does not apply to coal shipped outside the United States. Based on our limited sales of coal in the United States, we do not expect to incur a material expense related to this excise tax. However, the excise tax may result in a material expense to us in the future if our coal sales in the United States significantly increase. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes significant changes to the federal black lung program, including an automatic survivor benefit paid upon the death of a miner with an awarded black lung claim and the establishment of a rebuttable presumption with regard to pneumoconiosis among miners with 15 or more years of coal mine employment that are totally disabled by a respiratory condition. These changes could have a material impact on our costs expended in association with the federal black lung program. In addition to possibly incurring liability under federal statutes we may also be liable under state laws for black lung claims. For additional information, please see “Part I, Item 1A. Risk FactorsRisks Related to Our BusinessWe are responsible for medical and disability benefits for black lung disease under federal law."
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (“SMCRA”) requires that comprehensive environmental protection and reclamation standards be met during the course of and following completion of mining activities. Permits for all mining operations must be obtained from the Federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (“OSM”) or, where state regulatory agencies have adopted federally approved state programs under the SMCRA, the appropriate state regulatory authority. The Alabama Surface Mining Commission reviews and approves SMCRA permits in Alabama.
SMCRA permit provisions include requirements for coal prospecting, mine plan development, topsoil removal, storage and replacement, selective handling of overburden materials, mine pit backfilling and grading, subsidence control for underground mines, surface drainage control, mine drainage and mine discharge control, treatment and revegetation. These requirements seek to limit the adverse impacts of coal mining and more restrictive requirements may be adopted from time to time.
Before a SMCRA permit is issued, a mine operator must submit a bond or otherwise secure the performance of reclamation obligations. The Abandoned Mine Land Fund, which is part of SMCRA, imposes a general funding fee on all coal produced. The proceeds are used to reclaim mine lands closed or abandoned prior to 1977. On November 15, 2021, the Abandoned Mine Land Program was extended through September 2034.
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 We maintain extensive coal refuse areas and slurry impoundments at our mining complexes. Such areas and impoundments are subject to comprehensive regulation. Structural failure of an impoundment can result in damage to the environment and natural resources, such as bodies of water that the coal slurry reaches, as well as create liability for related personal injuries, property damages and injuries to wildlife. Some of our impoundments overlie mined out areas, which can pose a heightened risk of failure and the assessment of damages arising out of such failure. If one of our impoundments were to fail, we could be subject to substantial claims for the resulting environmental contamination and associated liability, as well as for related fines and penalties.
On December 12, 2008, the OSM finalized rulemaking regarding the interpretation of the stream buffer zone provisions of SMCRA, which confirmed that excess spoil from mining and refuse from coal preparation could be placed in permitted areas of a mine site that constitute waters of the U.S. The rule was subsequently vacated based, in part, upon the fact that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service was not consulted with respect to possible effects on endangered species under terms of the Endangered Species Act. On December 20, 2016, the OSM published a new, finalized “Stream Protection Rule,” setting standards for “material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area” that are applicable to surface and underground mining operations. However, on February 16, 2017, former President Trump signed a joint congressional resolution disapproving the Stream Protection Rule pursuant to the Congressional Review Act. Accordingly, the regulations in effect prior to the Stream Protection Rule apply, including OSM’s 1983 rule, which requires coal companies to keep operations 100 feet from streams or otherwise minimize any damage. It remains unclear whether and how additional actions by the Biden Administration could further impact regulatory or enforcement activities pursuant to the SMCRA.
Drainage flowing from or caused by mining activities can be acidic with elevated levels of dissolved metals, a condition referred to as “acid mine drainage” (“AMD”). Treatment of AMD can be costly. Although we do not currently face material costs associated with AMD, there can be no assurance that we will not incur significant costs in the future.
Surety Bonds/Financial Assurance
We use surety bonds and letters of credit to provide financial assurance for certain transactions and business activities. Federal and state laws require us to obtain surety bonds or other acceptable security to secure payment of certain long-term obligations including mine closure or reclamation costs and other miscellaneous obligations. The amount of security required to be obtained can change as the result of changes to federal or state laws, as well as changes to the factors used to calculate the bonding or security amounts.
Surety bond rates have increased in recent years and the market terms of such bonds have generally become less favorable. In addition, the number of companies willing to issue surety bonds has decreased. Bonding companies may also require posting of collateral, typically in the form of letters of credit to secure the surety bonds. Moreover, the changes in the market for coal used to generate electricity in recent years have led to bankruptcies involving prominent coal producers. Several of these companies relied on self-bonding to guarantee their responsibilities. In response to these bankruptcies, the OSM issued a Policy Advisory in August 2016 to state agencies that are authorized under the SMCRA to implement the act in their states, notifying those state agencies that the OSM would more closely review self-bonding arrangements. Certain states had previously announced or have since announced that they would either limit or no longer accept self-bonding to secure reclamation obligations under the state mining laws. Although the Policy Advisory was rescinded in October 2017, some states may be reluctant to approve self-bonding arrangements. This may lead to increased demand for other forms of financial assurance, which may strain capacity for those instruments and increase our costs of obtaining and maintaining the amounts of financial assurance needed for our operations. These actions, individually and collectively, may increase the amount of financial assurance needed and limit the types of acceptable instruments, straining the capacity of the surety markets to meet demand. This may increase the time required to obtain, and increase the cost of obtaining, the required financial assurances. Although Alabama’s regulatory framework technically allows for self-bonding, as a practical matter, due to the onerous regulatory requirements for self-bonding, mining companies in Alabama utilize surety bonds, collateral bonds, or letters of credit to meet their financial assurance requirements. As of December 31, 2023, we had outstanding surety bonds with parties for post-mining reclamation at all of our mining operations totaling $44.3 million, $18.6 million for black lung liabilities and $5.2 million for miscellaneous purposes.
Climate Change
Global climate change continues to attract considerable public and scientific attention, with widespread concern about the impacts of human activity, especially the emission of GHGs, such as carbon dioxide and methane. Some of our operations directly emit GHGs. Further, the products that we produce result in the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by end-users. Laws and regulations governing emissions of GHGs have been adopted by foreign governments (including the European Union and member countries), U.S. Congress and regulatory agencies, individual states in the U.S. and regional governmental
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authorities. In particular, in December 2009, the EPA published findings that GHG emissions present an endangerment to public health and welfare because, according to the EPA, emissions of such gases contribute to warming of the earth's atmosphere and other climatic changes. The EPA's findings focus on six GHGs, including carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide (which are emitted from coal combustion) and methane (which is emitted from coal beds). The findings by the EPA allowed the agency to proceed with the adoption and implementation of regulations to restrict emissions of GHGs under existing provisions of the Clean Air Act, including rules that regulate emissions of GHGs from motor vehicles and certain large stationary sources of emissions such as power plants or industrial facilities. Also, in August 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 ("IRA") into law. The IRA contains billions of dollars in incentives for the development of renewable energy, clean hydrogen, clean fuels, electric vehicles, investments in advanced biofuels and supporting infrastructure and carbon capture and sequestration, amongst other provisions. These incentives could accelerate the transition of the economy away from the use of fossil fuels towards lower- or zero-carbon emissions alternatives, which could decrease demand for, and in turn the prices of, fossil fuel energy products. Also, almost one-half of U.S. states have taken legal measures to reduce emissions of GHGs primarily through the planned development of GHG emission inventories and/or regional GHG cap and trade programs. Further, numerous proposals have been made and are likely to continue to be made at the international, national, regional and state levels of government that are intended to limit emissions of GHGs by enforceable requirements and voluntary measures.
In June 2010, Earthjustice petitioned the EPA to make a finding that emissions from coal mines may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare, and to list them as a stationary source subject to further regulation of emissions. On April 30, 2013, the EPA denied the petition. Judicial challenges seeking to force the EPA to list coal mines as stationary sources have likewise been unsuccessful to date. If the EPA were to make an endangerment finding in the future, we may have to further reduce our methane emissions, install additional air pollution controls, pay certain taxes or fees for our emissions, incur costs to purchase credits that permit us to continue operations as they now exist at our underground coal mines or perhaps curtail coal production.
In addition, on May 23, 2023, the EPA published proposed emission limits and guidelines for carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel-fired power plants. The proposed limits and guidelines require ambitious reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, which, if finalized, could have a material adverse impact on coal-fired power plants and the demand for thermal coal nationally. While the proposed power plant rules do not affect our marketing of our steelmaking coal, the continued regulatory focus could lead to future GHG regulations for the mining industry and its steelmaking customers, which ultimately could make it more difficult or costly for us to conduct our operations or adversely affect demand for our products.
Demand for steelmaking coal and natural gas also may be impacted by international efforts to reduce GHG emissions. In December 2015, the United States joined the international community at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France. The text of the Paris Agreement calls for nations to undertake “ambitious efforts” to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2º C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5º C above pre-industrial levels; reach global peaking of GHG emissions as soon as possible; and take action to conserve and enhance sinks and reservoirs of GHGs, among other requirements. The Paris Agreement went into effect on November 4, 2016. The Paris Agreement establishes a framework for the parties to cooperate and report actions to reduce GHG emissions. Although the United States withdrew from the Paris Agreement, effective November 4, 2020, President Biden issued an executive order on January 20, 2021 to rejoin the Paris Agreement, which took effect on February 19, 2021. On April 21, 2021, the United States announced that it was setting an economy-wide target of reducing its GHG emissions by 50-52 percent below 2005 levels in 2030. In November 2021, in connection with the 26th session of the Conference of Parties (as defined below) in Glasgow, Scotland, the United States and other world leaders made further commitments to reduce GHGs, including reducing global methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 and ending the international public finance of new unabated coal power generation abroad by the end of 2021. The resulting Glasgow Climate Pact calls upon the parties to "accelerate efforts towards the phase-down of unabated coal power and phase-out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies." Furthermore, many state and local leaders have stated their intent to intensify efforts to support the international commitments. It is possible that the Paris Agreement and subsequent domestic and international regulations will have adverse effects on the market for steelmaking coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuel products.
Methane must be expelled from our underground coal mines for mining safety reasons. Our gas operations extract methane from our underground steelmaking coal mines prior to mining. With the exception of some methane that is vented into the atmosphere when the steelmaking coal is mined, much of the methane is captured and sold into the natural gas market and used as fuel. If regulation of GHG emissions does not exempt the release of methane, we may have to curtail steelmaking coal production, pay certain taxes or fees for our emissions or incur costs to purchase credits that allow us to continue operations as they now exist at our underground steelmaking coal mines.
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 The existing laws and regulations or other current and future efforts to stabilize or reduce GHG emissions could adversely impact the demand for, price of and value of our products and reserves. As our operations also emit GHGs directly, current or future laws or regulations limiting GHG emissions could increase our own costs. Although the potential impacts on us of additional climate change regulation are difficult to reliably quantify, they could be material.
Finally, climate change may cause more extreme weather conditions such as more intense hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes and snow or ice storms, as well as rising sea levels and increased volatility in seasonal temperatures. Extreme weather conditions can interfere with our services and increase our costs, and damage resulting from extreme weather may not be fully insured. However, at this time, we are unable to determine the extent to which climate change may lead to increased storm or weather hazards affecting our operations.
Clean Air Act
The Clean Air Act and comparable state laws that regulate air emissions affect coal mining operations both directly and indirectly. Direct impacts on coal mining may occur through permitting requirements and/or emission control requirements relating to particulate matter, such as fugitive dust, or fine particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller. The Clean Air Act indirectly affects our mining operations by extensively regulating the air emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury, ozone and other compounds emitted by steel manufacturers, coke ovens and coal-fired utilities. These laws are constantly evolving and may become more stringent. For example, on July 31, 2023, the EPA proposed new, more stringent emission standards for hazardous air pollutants for integrated iron and steel manufacturing facilities. As described above, existing and proposed regulations also subject GHG emissions to regulation under the Clean Air Act.
Clean Water Act
The federal CWA and corresponding state and local laws and regulations affect our operations by restricting the discharge of pollutants, including dredged and fill materials, into waters of the United States. CWA requirements that may directly or indirectly affect our operations include the following:
Water Discharge. The CWA and corresponding state laws affect our operations by imposing restrictions on discharges of wastewater into creeks and streams. These restrictions, more often than not, require us to pre-treat the wastewater prior to discharging it. Permits requiring regular monitoring and compliance with effluent limitations and reporting requirements govern the discharge of pollutants into regulated waters. Our mining operations maintain water discharge permits as required under the NPDES program of the CWA. We believe that we have obtained all permits required under the CWA and corresponding state laws and are in substantial compliance with such permits. However, new requirements under the CWA and corresponding state laws may cause us to incur significant additional costs that could adversely affect our operating results. We are in material compliance with our current permits; however, there can be no guarantee that we will be able to meet new or future standards with respect to our permit applications.
Dredge and Fill Permits. Many mining activities, such as the development of refuse impoundments, freshwater impoundments, refuse fills, and other similar structures, may result in impacts to waters of the United States, including wetlands, streams and, in certain instances, man-made conveyances that have a hydrologic connection to such streams or wetlands. Under the CWA, coal companies are required to obtain a Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) prior to conducting such mining activities. The USACE is authorized to issue general “nationwide” permits for specific categories of activities that are similar in nature and that are determined to have minimal adverse effects on the environment. Permits issued pursuant to Nationwide Permit 21 generally authorize the disposal of dredged and fill material from surface coal mining activities into waters of the United States, subject to certain restrictions. The USACE may also issue individual permits for mining activities that do not qualify for Nationwide Permit 21.
 Recent regulatory actions and court decisions created some uncertainty over the scope of CWA jurisdiction. On June 29, 2015, the EPA and the USACE jointly promulgated final rules expanding the scope of waters protected under the CWA, revising regulations that had been in place for more than 25 years. However, on October 22, 2019, the agencies published a final rule to repeal the 2015 rules and then, on April 21, 2020, the EPA and the USACE published a final rule replacing the 2015 rule, and significantly reducing the waters subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act. On August 30, 2021, a federal court struck down the replacement rule and, on January 18, 2023, the EPA and the USACE published a final rule that would restore water protections that were in place prior to 2015. However, on May 25, 2023, the Supreme Court issued an opinion substantially narrowing the scope of "waters of the United States" protected under the CWA. On September 8, 2023, the EPA and the USACE published a final rule conforming their regulations to the decision. These
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recent actions provide much needed clarity, as confusion over the scope of CWA jurisdiction had led to significant permitting delays, litigation, and uncertainty in the mining industry.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) and corresponding state laws establish standards for the management of solid and hazardous wastes generated at our various facilities. Besides affecting current waste disposal practices, RCRA also addresses the environmental effects of certain past hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal practices. In addition, RCRA also requires certain of our facilities to evaluate and respond to any past release, or threatened release, of hazardous waste that may pose a risk to human health or the environment.
RCRA may affect coal mining operations by establishing requirements for the proper management, handling, transportation and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes. Currently, certain coal mine wastes, such as earth and rock covering a mineral deposit (commonly referred to as overburden) and coal cleaning wastes, are exempted from hazardous waste management under RCRA. Any change or reclassification of this exemption could significantly increase our coal mining costs.
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) and similar state laws affect our steelmaking coal mining operations by, among other things, imposing investigation and cleanup requirements for threatened or actual releases of hazardous substances. Under CERCLA, joint and several liability may be imposed on operators, generators, site owners, lessees and others regardless of fault or the legality of the original activity that caused or resulted in the release of the hazardous substances. Although the EPA excludes most wastes generated by coal mining and processing operations from the hazardous waste laws, the universe of materials and substances governed by CERCLA is broader than “hazardous waste” and as such even non-hazardous wastes can, in certain circumstances, contain hazardous substances, which if released into the environment are governed by CERCLA. Alabama’s version of CERCLA mirrors the federal version with the important difference that there is no joint and several liability. Liability is consistent with one’s contribution to the contamination. In addition, the disposal, release or spilling of some products used by coal companies in operation, such as chemicals, could trigger the liability provisions of CERCLA or similar state laws. Thus, we may be subject to liability under CERCLA and similar state laws for properties that (1) we currently own, lease or operate, (2) we, our predecessors, or former subsidiaries have previously owned, leased or operated, (3) sites to which we, our predecessors or former subsidiaries, sent waste materials, and (4) sites at which hazardous substances from our facilities’ operations have otherwise come to be located.
Endangered Species Act and Similar Laws
The federal Endangered Species Act and other related federal and state statutes, such as the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, protect species threatened or endangered with possible extinction. Protection of threatened, endangered and other special status species may have the effect of prohibiting or delaying us from obtaining mining permits and may include restrictions on our activities in areas containing the affected species. Also, the designation of previously unidentified threatened, endangered or special status species in areas where we operate could cause us to incur additional costs or become subject to operating delays, restrictions or bans.
Seasonality
Our primary business is not materially impacted by seasonal fluctuations. Demand for steelmaking coal is generally more heavily influenced by other factors such as the global economy, demand for steel, interest rates and commodity prices.
Available Information
We are required to file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Our filings with the SEC are also available to the public from commercial document retrieval services and at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.
Our common stock is listed and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “HCC.” Our reports, proxy statements and other information filed with the SEC can also be inspected and copied at the New York Stock Exchange, 20 Broad Street, New York, New York 10005.
We also make available on our website (http://www.warriormetcoal.com) all of the documents (including any amendments thereto) that we file or furnish with the SEC, free of charge, as soon as reasonably practicable after we
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electronically file such material with the SEC. Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, Corporate Governance Guidelines and the charters of our audit committee, compensation committee, nominating and corporate governance committee and sustainability, environmental, health & safety committee are also available on our website and in print free of charge to any stockholder who requests them. Requests should be sent by mail to our corporate secretary at our executive office at 16243 Highway 216, Brookwood, Alabama 35444. Information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report. We intend to disclose on our website any amendments or waivers to our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics that are required to be disclosed pursuant to Item 5.05 of Form 8-K.


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Item 1A. Risk Factors
Our business involves substantial risks. Any of the risk factors described below or elsewhere in this Annual Report could significantly and adversely affect our business prospects, financial condition and results of operations. The risks described below are not the only ones facing us. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial may also adversely affect us.
Summary of Risk Factors
The following is a summary of some of the risks and uncertainties that could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. You should read this summary together with the more detailed description of each risk factor contained below.

Risks Related to Our Business

Deterioration in global economic conditions, including the impacts of global pandemics, conflicts including wars, and inflation on our business, may adversely affect our business, results of operations and cash flows and if we fail to implement our business strategies successfully, our financial performance could be harmed;

We may be unsuccessful or delayed in developing Blue Creek, which could significantly affect our operations and/or limit our long-term growth;

If transportation for our steelmaking coal is disrupted, unavailable or more expensive for our customers, our ability to sell steelmaking coal could suffer;

Work stoppages, labor shortages and other labor relations matters may harm our business. Union-represented labor creates an increased risk of work stoppages and higher labor costs;

Significant competition, as well as changes in foreign markets or economies, could harm our sales, profitability and cash flows;

Our sales in foreign jurisdictions are subject to risks and uncertainties, such as new tariffs and other trade measures, which could adversely affect our results of operations, financial position and cash flows;

Risks Related to Our Industry

Substantially all of our revenues are derived from the sale of steelmaking coal and our business may suffer from a substantial or extended decline in steelmaking coal pricing and demand or other factors beyond our control. This lack of diversification of our business could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows;

Met coal mining involves many hazards and operating risks, and is dependent upon many factors and conditions beyond our control, which may cause our profitability and financial position to decline;

Negative views with respect to environmental and social matters and related governance considerations could harm the perception of our Company by certain investors, environmental and climate change activist groups and financial institutions, including banks and insurance companies, adversely affecting our ability to obtain financing and insurance coverage, and otherwise achieve our strategic priorities;

Our inability to develop steelmaking coal reserves in an economically feasible manner or our inability to acquire additional steelmaking coal reserves that are economically recoverable may adversely affect our business;

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Any significant downtime of our major pieces of mining equipment could impair our ability to supply steelmaking coal to our customers and materially and adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows;

We may not recover our investments in our mining, exploration and other assets, which may require us to recognize impairment charges related to those assets;

Risks Related to Regulatory Compliance

We are responsible for medical and disability benefits for black lung disease under federal law. Changes in the estimated claims to be paid or changes in the amount of collateral required may affect our operating results and cash flows;

Extensive federal and state environmental, health and safety laws and regulations impose significant costs on our operations and future regulations could increase these costs, limit our ability to produce or adversely affect our ability to meet our customers' demands;

Failure to obtain or renew surety bonds on acceptable terms could affect our ability to secure reclamation and coal lease obligations and, therefore, our ability to mine or lease steelmaking coal;

We have reclamation and mine closing obligations. If the assumptions underlying our accruals are inaccurate, we could be required to expend greater amounts than anticipated;

Risks Related to our Financial Results and Finances

Our substantial indebtedness could adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations and dividend policy, limit our ability to react to changes in the economy or our industry and prevent us from making debt service payments on the Notes;

We may be unable to generate sufficient taxable income from future operations, which may limit or eliminate our ability to utilize our significant federal and state tax NOLs or our deferred tax assets;

Risks Related to the Ownership of our Common Stock

The market price of our common stock may fluctuate significantly and investors in our common stock could incur substantial losses;

Any declaration and payment of future dividends to holders of our common stock may be limited by restrictive covenants of our ABL Facility and the indenture governing the Notes (the "Indenture"), and will be on the sole discretion of the Board and will also depend on many factors;
Our common stock is subject to the 382 Transfer Restrictions (as defined below) under our certificate of incorporation and the Amended Rights Agreement (as defined below) which are intended to prevent a Section 382 "ownership change," which if not complied with, could result in the forfeiture of such stock and related dividends or substantial dilution of the stock ownership, respectively; and
Delaware law and our charter documents may impede or discourage a takeover or change of control, which could adversely affect the price of our common stock.
Risks Related to Our Business

Our activities may be adversely affected by global pandemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, which may prevent us from meeting our targeted production levels and/or executing our planned development initiatives (including, but not limited to, the development of Blue Creek), negatively impact our customers’ demand for steelmaking coal and their ability to honor
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or renew contracts, adversely affect the health and welfare of Company personnel or prevent our vendors and contractors from performing normal and contracted activities.

The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic, or any other global pandemic, will ultimately affect our business, financial condition and results of operations will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted. Such developments may include, with respect to any global pandemic, the geographic spread of the virus, the severity of the disease, the duration of the outbreak, the actions that may be taken by various governmental authorities in response to the outbreak and the impact on the U.S. or global economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted, and may continue to result, in disruptions to economic and industrial activity worldwide. We are highly dependent on the global steel industry. Our sales are primarily derived from coal shipments to customers located in regions that are, or may become, heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly Asia and Europe. Not only is steel production in these regions at risk of decline, but we may also face additional challenges in the event that transportation restrictions are put in place that affect our ability to deliver coal to our customers in these regions. These factors may influence our customers’ ability to honor or renew their contracts.

In addition to the potential impact on global steelmaking coal demand, COVID-19 or any other global pandemic may result in disruptions or restrictions on our employees’ ability to operate our coal mines in the ordinary course of business, which would restrict our production capacity. Similarly, we cannot predict how, if at all, the outbreak will affect our suppliers’ ability to provide the mining materials and equipment we require. If our production capacity or our ability to meet our supply needs is affected, our business and our financial results could be materially and adversely affected. Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic has substantially affected national and international financial markets, which could affect our ability to obtain financing for our business and/or pursue our planned development projects, including the development of our Blue Creek mine.

Deterioration in global economic conditions as they relate to the steelmaking industry, as well as generally unfavorable global economic, financial and business conditions, may adversely affect our business, results of operations and cash flows.

Demand for steelmaking coal depends on domestic and foreign steel demand. As a result, if economic conditions in the global steelmaking industry deteriorate as they have in past years, the demand for steelmaking coal may decrease. In addition, the global financial markets have been experiencing volatility and disruption over the last several years including, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These markets have experienced, among other things, volatility in security prices, commodities and currencies, diminished liquidity and credit availability, rating downgrades and declining valuations of certain investments. Weaknesses in global economic conditions have had an adverse effect and could have a material adverse effect on the demand for our steelmaking coal and, in turn, on our sales, pricing and profitability.

In addition, future governmental policy changes in foreign countries may be detrimental to the global coal market. For example, the Chinese government has from time to time implemented regulations and promulgated new laws or restrictions, such as the unofficial ban on Australian coal in November 2020, on their domestic coal industry, sometimes with little advance notice, which has impacted worldwide coal demand, supply and prices. The ban on Australian coal has significantly impacted the global steelmaking coal market in recent years. This unofficial ban was lifted in January 2023. During the past several years, the Chinese government has initiated a number of anti-smog measures aimed at reducing hazardous air emissions through temporary production capacity restrictions with the steel, coal and coal-fired power sectors. It is possible that policy changes from foreign countries may be detrimental to the global coal markets and, thus, impact our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Additionally, we face risks related to ongoing wars, including the Russia-Ukraine war that began in February 2022 and the Israel-Hamas war that began in October 2023. The extent and duration of the military conflicts, resulting sanctions and future market or supply disruptions in these regions, are impossible to predict, but could be significant and may have a severe adverse effect on the region. Globally, various governments, such as the European Union, have banned imports from Russia including commodities such as natural gas and coal. These events significantly impacted coking coal markets by disrupting previously existing trading patterns. The resulting volatility, including market expectations of potential changes in coal prices and inflationary pressures on steel products, may significantly affect prices for our coal or the cost of supplies and equipment.
The wars, trade and monetary sanctions, as well as any escalation of the conflicts and future developments, could significantly affect coking coal prices and the demand for our coal. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, along with our operating costs, making it difficult to execute our planned capital expenditure program or the development of Blue Creek. Additionally, the geopolitical and macroeconomic consequences of the wars and associated sanctions cannot be predicted, but could severely impact the world economy. If any of these events occur, the resulting political instability and societal disruption could reduce overall demand for our coal, causing a reduction in our revenues or an increase in our costs, which would materially adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
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If steelmaking coal prices drop to or below levels experienced in 2015 and the first half of 2016 for a prolonged period or if there are further downturns in economic conditions, particularly in developing countries such as China and India, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be adversely affected. While we are focused on cost control and operational efficiencies, there can be no assurance that these actions, or any others we may take, will be sufficient in response to challenging economic and financial conditions. In addition, the current level of steelmaking coal prices may not be sustainable.
Our business is subject to the risk of increases or fluctuations in the cost, including increases due to inflation, and delay in the delivery, of raw materials, mining equipment and purchased components.

Met coal mining consumes large quantities of commodities including steel, copper, rubber products, diesel and other liquid fuels, and requires the use of capital equipment. Some commodities, such as steel, are needed to comply with roof control plans required by regulation. The cost of roof bolts we use in our mining operations depends on the price of scrap steel. The prices we pay for commodities and capital equipment are strongly impacted by the global market. A rapid or significant increase in the costs of commodities or capital equipment we use in our operations could impact our mining operations costs because we may have a limited ability to negotiate lower prices and, in some cases, may not have a ready substitute.
Inflation rates in the U.S. have increased to levels not seen in several years, and have been even higher in the mining sector, which may result in decreased demand for our products, increases in our operating costs, constrained credit and liquidity, reduced government spending and volatility in financial markets. Future increases in costs for supplies that are used directly or indirectly in the normal course of our business and increases in other operating costs, such as increases in steel prices, freight rates, labor and other materials and supplies may negatively impact our profitability. Our efforts to recover inflation-based cost increases from suppliers or customers may be hampered as a result of the structure of our contracts and the contract bidding process as well as competitive pressure in the industry, economic conditions and the countries to which we sell our export coal. Accordingly, substantial inflation may have an adverse impact on our business, including the development of Blue Creek, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. Inflation has also resulted in higher interest rates in the U.S., which could increase our cost of debt borrowing in the future.

We use equipment in our steelmaking coal mining and transportation operations such as continuous mining units, conveyors, shuttle cars, rail cars, locomotives, roof bolters, shearers and shields. Some equipment and materials are needed to comply with regulations, such as proximity detection devices on continuous mining machines. We procure some of this equipment from a concentrated group of suppliers, and obtaining this equipment often involves long lead times. Occasionally, demand for such equipment by mining companies can be high and some types of equipment may be in short supply. Delays in receiving or shortages of this equipment, as well as the raw materials used in the manufacturing of supplies and mining equipment, which, in some cases, do not have ready substitutes, or the cancellation of our supply contracts under which we obtain equipment and other consumables, could limit our ability to obtain these supplies or equipment. In addition, there continues to be consolidation in the supplier base providing mining materials and equipment, which has resulted in a limited number of suppliers for certain types of equipment and supplies. If any of our suppliers experiences an adverse event (including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic), decides to cease producing products used by the mining industry, or decides to no longer do business with us, we may be unable to obtain sufficient equipment and raw materials in a timely manner or at a reasonable price to allow us to meet our production goals and our revenues may be materially adversely impacted.

We use considerable quantities of steel in the mining process. If the price of steel or other materials increases substantially or if the value of the U.S. dollar declines relative to foreign currencies with respect to certain imported supplies or other products, our operating expenses could increase. Any of the foregoing events could materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We typically sell our steelmaking coal under fixed supply contracts primarily with indexed pricing terms that vary and volume terms of one to three years and are therefore exposed to commodity price risk on our sales.
Sales commitments in the steelmaking coal market are typically not long-term in nature and are generally no longer than one to three years in duration. Globally the market is evolving to shorter term pricing. Many of our steelmaking coal supply agreements are priced on the basis of a variety of indices, where prices are determined on or before shipment by averaging the leading spot indexes reported in the market. As a result, our sales are subject to fluctuations in market pricing and we are not protected from oversupply or market conditions where we cannot sell our coal at economic prices. To limit this exposure, to the extent we are able, we have incorporated, and will continue to incorporate, economic hardship clauses in our sales contracts. However, there can be no assurances that we will be able to mitigate such conditions as they arise. Met coal has been an extremely volatile commodity over the past ten years and prices may become volatile again in the future given the rapid increase of the last few years and the sharp decline in the second half of 2019. Any sustained failure to be able to market our
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coal during such periods would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and ability to pay dividends to our stockholders.

The failure of our customers to honor or renew contracts could adversely affect our business.

A significant portion of the sales of our steelmaking coal is to customers with whom we have had a relationship for a long period of time. Typically, our customer contracts are for terms of one to three years or are evergreen with respect to contracted volumes. The success of our business depends on our ability to retain our current customers, renew our existing customer contracts and solicit new customers. Our ability to do so generally depends on a variety of factors, including the quality and price of our products, our ability to market these products effectively, our ability to deliver on a timely basis and the level of competition that we face. If our customers do not honor contract commitments, or if they terminate agreements or exercise force majeure provisions allowing for the temporary suspension of performance during specified events beyond the parties’ control, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are unable to replace the contract, our revenues will be materially and adversely affected. Changes in the steelmaking coal industry may cause some of our customers not to renew, extend or enter into new steelmaking coal supply agreements or to enter into agreements to purchase fewer metric tons of steelmaking coal or on different terms than in the past.
Our ability to collect payments from our customers could be impaired and, as a result, our financial position could be materially and adversely affected if their creditworthiness deteriorates, if they declare bankruptcy, or if they fail to honor their contracts with us.

Our ability to receive payment for steelmaking coal sold and delivered depends on the continued creditworthiness and financial stability of our customers. A significant number of our customers are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which may result in a deterioration of their financial stability and, in some cases, a bankruptcy. If we determine that a customer is not creditworthy or if a customer declares bankruptcy, we may not be required to deliver steelmaking coal sold under the customer’s sales contract. If this occurs, we may decide to sell the customer’s steelmaking coal on the spot market, which may be at prices lower than the contracted price, or we may be unable to sell the steelmaking coal at all. In addition, if customers refuse to accept shipments of our steelmaking coal for which they have an existing contractual obligation, our revenues will decrease and we may have to reduce production at our mines until our customers’ contractual obligations are honored. Further, competition with other steelmaking coal suppliers could cause us to extend credit to customers on terms that could increase the risk of payment default. Our inability to collect payment from counterparties to our sales contracts may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
A significant reduction of, or loss of, purchases by our largest customers could materially adversely affect our profitability.

For the year ended December 31, 2023, we derived approximately 56.7% of our total sales revenues from our five largest customers. There are inherent risks whenever a significant percentage of total revenues are concentrated with a limited number of customers, and it is not possible for us to predict the future level of demand for our steelmaking coal that will be generated by our largest customers. We expect to renew, extend or enter into new supply agreements with these and other customers; however, we may be unsuccessful in obtaining such agreements with these customers and these customers may discontinue purchasing steelmaking coal from us, reduce the quantity of steelmaking coal that they have historically purchased from us or pressure us to reduce the prices that we charge for our steelmaking coal due to market, economic or competitive conditions, including effects from the COVID-19 pandemic. If any of our major customers were to significantly reduce the quantities of steelmaking coal they purchase from us and we are unable to replace these customers with new customers (or we fail to obtain new, additional customers), or if we are otherwise unable to sell steelmaking coal to those customers on terms as favorable to us as the terms under our current agreements, our profitability could suffer significantly.
If we fail to implement our business strategies successfully, our financial performance could be harmed.

Our future financial performance and success are dependent in large part upon our ability to successfully implement our business strategies. We may not be able to implement our business strategies successfully or achieve the anticipated benefits. If we are unable to do so, our long-term growth, profitability and ability to service any debt we incur in the future may be materially adversely affected. Even if we are able to implement some or all of the key elements of our business plan successfully, our operating results may not improve to the extent we anticipate, or at all. Implementation of our business strategies, including the development of Blue Creek, could also be affected by a number of factors beyond our control, such as global economic conditions (including effects of the COVID-19 pandemic), steelmaking coal prices, domestic and foreign steel demand, inflation and environmental, health and safety laws and regulations.

A key element of our business strategy involves increasing production at our existing mines and developing Blue Creek recoverable reserves in a cost-efficient manner. As we expand our business activities, there will be additional demands
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on our financial, technical, operational and management resources. These aspects of our strategy are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including:

an inability to retain or hire experienced crews and other personnel and other labor relations matters;

a lack of customer demand for our mined steelmaking coal;

an inability to secure necessary equipment, raw materials or engineering in a timely manner to successfully execute our expansion plans;

unanticipated delays that could limit or defer the production or expansion of our mining activities and jeopardize our long-term relationships with our existing customers and adversely affect our ability to obtain new customers for our mined steelmaking coal; and

a lack of available cash or access to sufficient debt or equity financing for investment in our expansion.
We may be unsuccessful or delayed in developing Blue Creek, which could significantly affect our operations and/or limit our long-term growth.

The development of Blue Creek will require substantial capital expenditures that we may not recover. In addition, during our development of Blue Creek we will face numerous financial, regulatory, environmental, political and legal uncertainties that are beyond our control and that may cause unforeseen delays in, or unexpectedly increase the costs associated with, the completion of Blue Creek. Accordingly, we may not be able to complete the development of Blue Creek on schedule, at the budgeted cost or at all, and any such delays or increased costs could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. We spent approximately $319.1 million on the development of Blue Creek in 2023, $366.0 million on the project to date and expect to invest approximately $325.0 to $375.0 million in 2024. Our planned development of Blue Creek involves numerous risks, including, but not limited to, the following:

uncertainties in the national and worldwide economy and the price of steelmaking coal;

our ability to obtain additional debt and/or equity financing to fund the development, permitting, construction and mining activities of Blue Creek on terms that are acceptable to us, or at all;

difficulties or delays in securing federally owned mineral leases within the mine plan;

the diversion of management’s attention from our existing mining operations;

our ability to obtain favorable tax or other incentives;

potential opposition from non-governmental organizations, local groups, or local residents;

the fact that our development, construction, ramp-up and operating costs may be higher than our estimates and further increase our planned capital expenditure and liquidity requirements;

shortages of construction materials and equipment or delays in the delivery of such materials and equipment;

unanticipated facility or equipment malfunctions or breakdowns;

delays from unexpected adverse geological and/or weather conditions, accidents, and other factors beyond our control, including the COVID-19 pandemic;

failure to obtain, or delays in obtaining, all necessary governmental and third-party rights-of-way, easements, permits, licenses and approvals;

local infrastructure conditions and other logistical challenges;

the possibility that we may have insufficient expertise to engage in such development activity profitably or without incurring inappropriate amounts of risks;
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the fact that the steelmaking coal reserves at Blue Creek may not be as economically recoverable as planned;

difficulties in integrating Blue Creek with our existing mining operations and failure to achieve any estimated economies of scale; and

our ability to hire qualified construction and other personnel.

We cannot assure you that we will be able to overcome these risks or successfully develop Blue Creek. If we are unable to complete, or are substantially delayed in completing, the development of Blue Creek, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to pay dividends to our stockholders could be adversely affected. Furthermore, even if Blue Creek is successfully developed, constructed, and placed into operation, we cannot assure you that it will operate at a profit sufficient to recover our total investment. In addition, if its development is successful, the operation of Blue Creek would exacerbate our existing mining and operation risks discussed elsewhere in this Report, including, but not limited to, risks related to increasing the concentration of our mining operations in Alabama, hazards and operating risks, transportation risks, liability risks and regulatory risks. See “-Risks Related to Our Business-All of our mining operations are located in Alabama, making us vulnerable to risks associated with having our production concentrated in one geographic area”, “-Steelmaking coal mining involves many hazards and operating risks, and is dependent upon many factors and conditions beyond our control, which may cause our profitability and financial position to decline”, “-If transportation for our steelmaking coal is disrupted, unavailable or more expensive for our customers, our ability to sell steelmaking coal could suffer”, “-Our business is subject to inherent risks, some for which we maintain third party insurance. We may incur losses and be subject to liability claims that could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows” and “-Our mines are subject to stringent federal and state safety regulations that increase our cost of doing business at active operations and may place restrictions on our methods of operation. In addition, federal, state or local regulatory agencies have the authority to order certain of our mines to be temporarily or permanently closed under certain circumstances, which could materially and adversely affect our ability to meet our customers’ demands.”
We may be unsuccessful in integrating the operations of any future acquisitions, including acquisitions involving new lines of business, with our existing operations, and in realizing all or any part of the anticipated benefits of any such acquisitions.
From time to time, we may evaluate and acquire assets and businesses that we believe complement our existing assets and business. The assets and businesses we acquire may be dissimilar from our existing lines of business. Acquisitions may require substantial capital or the incurrence of substantial indebtedness. Our capitalization and results of operations may change significantly as a result of future acquisitions. Acquisitions and business expansions involve numerous risks, including the following:
difficulties in the integration of the assets and operations of the acquired businesses;
inefficiencies and difficulties that arise because of unfamiliarity with new assets and the businesses associated with them and new geographic areas;
the possibility that we have insufficient expertise to engage in such activities profitably or without incurring inappropriate amounts of risk; and
the diversion of management’s attention from other operations.
Further, unexpected costs and challenges may arise whenever businesses with different operations or management are combined, and we may experience unanticipated delays in realizing the benefits of an acquisition. Entry into certain lines of business may subject us to new laws and regulations with which we are not familiar and may lead to increased litigation and regulatory risk. Also, following an acquisition, we may discover previously unknown liabilities associated with the acquired business or assets for which we have no recourse under applicable indemnification provisions. If a new business generates insufficient revenue or if we are unable to efficiently manage our expanded operations, our results of operations may be adversely affected.
If transportation for our steelmaking coal is disrupted, unavailable or more expensive for our customers, our ability to sell steelmaking coal could suffer.

Transportation costs represent a significant portion of the total cost of steelmaking coal to be delivered to our customers and, as a result, the cost of delivery is a factor in a customer’s purchasing decision. Overall price increases in our
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transportation costs could make our steelmaking coal less competitive with the same or alternative products from competitors with lower transportation costs. We typically depend upon overland conveyor, trucks, rail or barges to transport our products. Disruption or delays of any of these transportation services due to weather-related problems, which are variable and unpredictable, strikes or lock-outs, accidents, infrastructure damage, governmental regulation, third-party actions, lack of capacity or other events beyond our control, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, could impair our ability to supply our products to our customers and result in lost sales and reduced profitability. In addition, increases in transportation costs resulting from emission control requirements and fluctuations in the price of gasoline and diesel fuel, could make steelmaking coal produced in one region of the United States less competitive than steelmaking coal produced in other regions of the United States or abroad.

All of our steelmaking coal mines are served by only one rail carrier, which increases our vulnerability to these risks, although our access to barge transportation partially mitigates that risk. In addition, the majority of the steelmaking coal produced by our underground mining operations is sold to steelmaking coal customers who typically arrange and pay for transportation from the state-run docks at the Port of Mobile in Alabama to the point of use. As a result, disruption at the docks, port congestion and delayed steelmaking coal shipments may result in demurrage fees to us. If this disruption were to persist over an extended period of time, demurrage costs could significantly impact our profits. In addition, there are limited cost-effective alternatives to the port. The cost of securing additional facilities and services of this nature could significantly increase transportation and other costs. An interruption of rail or port services could significantly limit our ability to operate and, to the extent that alternate sources of port and rail services are unavailable or not available on commercially reasonable terms, could increase transportation and port costs significantly. Further, delays of ocean vessels could affect our revenues, costs and relative competitiveness compared to the supply of steelmaking coal and other products from our competitors.
We are currently in the process of testing alternative outbound logistics routes in order to increase transportation and vessel shipping optionality, but we cannot provide any assurance that we will be able to reduce our transportation risks.
An increase in transportation costs, including increases resulting from emission control requirements and fluctuation in the price of diesel fuel, could have an adverse effect on our ability to increase or to maintain production on a profit-making basis and could therefore adversely affect our revenues and earnings. Increases in transportation costs could also reduce overall demand for coal or make our coal production less competitive than coal produced from other sources or other regions.
Our business may require substantial ongoing capital expenditures, and we may not have access to the capital required to reach full productive capacity at our mines.

Maintaining and expanding mines and related infrastructure is capital intensive. Specifically, the exploration, permitting and development of steelmaking coal reserves, mining costs, the maintenance of machinery, facilities and equipment and compliance with applicable laws and regulations require ongoing capital expenditures. While a significant amount of the capital expenditures required at our mines has been spent, we must continue to invest capital to maintain our production. In addition, any decisions to increase production at our existing mines or the development of the high-quality met coal recoverable reserves at Blue Creek could also affect our capital needs or cause future capital expenditures to be higher than in the past and/or higher than our estimates. We cannot assure you that we will be able to maintain our production levels or generate sufficient cash flow, or that we will have access to sufficient financing to continue our production, exploration, permitting and development activities at or above our present levels and on our current or projected timelines, and we may be required to defer all or a portion of our capital expenditures. Our results of operations, business and financial condition may be materially adversely affected if we cannot make such capital expenditures.

To fund our capital expenditures, we will be required to use cash from our operations, incur debt or sell equity securities. Using cash from operations will reduce cash available for maintaining or increasing our operations activities. Our ability to obtain bank financing or our ability to access the capital markets for future equity or debt offerings, on the other hand, may be limited by our financial condition at the time of any such financing or offering and the covenants in our existing debt agreements, as well as by general economic conditions, contingencies and uncertainties that are beyond our control, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. If cash flow generated by our operations or available borrowings under our bank financing arrangements are insufficient to meet our capital requirements and we are unable to access the capital markets on acceptable terms or at all, we could be forced to curtail the expansion of our existing mines and the development of our properties, which, in turn, could lead to a decline in our production and could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations..
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Work stoppages, such as the strike initiated by the UMWA in April 2021, and other labor relations matters may harm our business. Union-represented labor creates an increased risk of work stoppages and higher labor costs.
If we fail to maintain satisfactory labor relations, disputes with the unionized portion of our workforce could affect us adversely. Union-represented labor creates an increased risk of work stoppages and higher labor costs. As of March 31, 2021, 66.8% of our employees were represented by the UMWA. In connection with the acquisition of certain assets of Walter Energy, we negotiated the Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) with the UMWA, which was ratified by the UMWA’s members on February 16, 2016 and had a five-year term. The CBA contract with the UMWA expired on April 1, 2021, and the UMWA initiated a strike. On February 16, 2023, the labor union representing certain of the Company's hourly employees announced that they were ending the strike and made an unconditional offer to return to work. The return-to-work process for eligible employees who wished to return to work which began in February has been completed. The Company continues to engage in good faith efforts with the labor union to reach an agreement on a new contract. Future work stoppages, labor union issues or labor disruptions at our mining operations, as well as at the operations of key customers or service providers, could impede our ability to produce and deliver our products, to receive critical equipment and supplies or to collect payment. This may increase our costs or impede our ability to operate one or more of our operations.
We require a skilled workforce to run our business. If we cannot hire qualified people to meet replacement or expansion needs, we may not be able to achieve planned results.
Efficient steelmaking coal mining using modern techniques and equipment requires skilled laborers with mining experience and proficiency as well as qualified managers and supervisors. The demand for skilled employees sometimes causes a significant constriction of the labor supply resulting in higher labor costs. When steelmaking coal producers compete for skilled miners, recruiting challenges can occur and employee turnover rates can increase, which negatively affect operating efficiency and costs. If a shortage of skilled workers exists and we are unable to train or retain the necessary number of miners, it could adversely affect our productivity, costs and ability to expand production.
Significant competition, as well as changes in foreign markets or economies, could harm our sales, profitability and cash flows. In addition, foreign currency fluctuations could adversely affect the competitiveness of our coal abroad.
We compete with other producers primarily on the basis of price, steelmaking coal quality, transportation costs and reliability of delivery. The consolidation of the global steelmaking coal industry over the last several years has contributed to increased competition among steelmaking coal producers and we cannot assure you that the result of current or further consolidation will not adversely affect us. In addition, some of our global competitors have significantly greater financial resources and/or a broader portfolio of coals than we do, and in recent periods a number of our competitors idled production in light of lower steelmaking coal prices in 2015 and the first half of 2016. The production that was idled by our competitors may restart, and in some instances has already restarted, and may affect domestic and foreign steelmaking coal supply into the seaborne market and associated prices and impact our ability to retain or attract steelmaking coal customers.
Further, potential changes to international trade agreements, trade concessions, foreign currency fluctuations or other political and economic arrangements may benefit steelmaking coal producers operating in countries other than the United States. We may be adversely impacted on the basis of price or other factors with companies that in the future may benefit from favorable foreign trade policies or other arrangements. In addition, increases in steelmaking coal prices could encourage existing producers to expand capacity or could encourage new producers to enter the market. Overcapacity and increased production within the steelmaking coal industry, both domestically and internationally, could materially reduce steelmaking coal demand and prices and therefore materially reduce our revenues and profitability. In addition, our ability to ship our steelmaking coal to international customers depends on port and transportation capacity. Increased competition within the domestic steelmaking coal industry for international sales could result in us not being able to obtain throughput capacity at port facilities, as well as transport capacity, could cause the rates for such services to increase to a point where it is not economically feasible to export our steelmaking coal.
The general economic conditions in foreign markets and changes in currency exchange rates are factors outside of our control that may affect international steelmaking coal prices. If our competitors’ currencies decline against the U.S. dollar or against our customers’ currencies, those competitors may be able to offer lower prices to our customers. Furthermore, if the currencies of our overseas customers were to significantly decline in value in comparison to the U.S. dollar, on which our sales contracts are based, those customers may seek decreased prices for the steelmaking coal that we sell to them. These factors, in addition to adversely affecting the competitiveness of our steelmaking coal in international markets, may also negatively impact our collection of trade receivables from our customers and could reduce our profitability or result in lower steelmaking coal sales.
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Our sales in foreign jurisdictions are subject to risks and uncertainties that may have a negative impact on our profitability.

Substantially all of our steelmaking coal sales consist of sales to international customers and we expect that international sales will continue to account for a substantial portion of our revenue. A number of foreign countries in which we sell our steelmaking coal implicate additional risks and uncertainties due to the different economic, cultural and political environments. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to:
longer sales-cycles and time to collection;

tariffs and international trade barriers and export license requirements, including any that might result from the current global trade uncertainties;

fewer or less certain legal protections for contract rights;

different and changing legal and regulatory requirements;

potential liability under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, or comparable foreign regulations;

government currency controls;

fluctuations in foreign currency exchange and interest rates; and

political and economic instability, changes, hostilities and other disruptions (including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic), as well as unexpected changes in diplomatic and trade relationships.

Negative developments in any of these factors in the foreign markets into which we sell our steelmaking coal could result in a reduction in demand for steelmaking coal, the cancellation or delay of orders already placed, difficulty in collecting receivables, higher costs of doing business and/or non-compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, each or any of which could materially adversely impact our cash flows, results of operations and profitability.
New tariffs and other trade measures could adversely affect our results of operations, financial position and cash flows.
    
New and existing tariffs as well as other trade measures that may be implemented by the U.S. or retaliatory trade measures or tariffs implemented by other countries could result in reduced economic activity, increased costs in operating our business, reduced demand and/or changes in purchasing behaviors for steelmaking coal, material changes in the pricing of steelmaking coal, limits on trade with the United States or other potentially adverse economic outcomes. While we have historically been successful at managing the impacts of trade barriers on our business, we cannot predict future developments, and such existing or future tariffs could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position and cash flows.
We may be subject to litigation, the disposition of which could negatively affect our profitability and cash flow in a particular period, or have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our profitability or cash flow in a particular period could be affected by an adverse ruling in any litigation that may be filed against us in the future. In addition, such litigation could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. See “Part I, Item 3. Legal Proceedings.”
Terrorist attacks and cyber-attacks or other security breaches may negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and cash flows.
Our business is affected by general economic conditions, fluctuations in consumer confidence and spending, and market liquidity, all of which can decline as a result of numerous factors outside of our control, such as terrorist attacks and acts of war. Future terrorist attacks against U.S. targets, rumors or threats of war, actual conflicts involving the United States or its allies, or military or trade disruptions affecting our customers could cause delays or losses in transportation and deliveries of steelmaking coal to our customers, decreased sales of our steelmaking coal and extension of time for payment of accounts receivable from our customers. Strategic targets such as energy-related assets may be at greater risk of future terrorist attacks than other targets in the United States. It is possible that any, or a combination, of these occurrences could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
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In addition, we have become increasingly dependent upon digital technologies, including information systems, infrastructure and cloud applications and services, to operate our businesses, process and record financial and operating data, communicate with our employees and business partners, analyze seismic and drilling information, estimate quantities of steelmaking coal reserves, as well as other activities related to our businesses. We own and operate some of these systems and applications while others are owned and operated by our third-party service providers. In the ordinary course of our business, we and our service providers collect, process, transmit and store data, such as proprietary business information and personally identifiable information. As our dependence on digital technologies has increased, our IT systems and those of third parties are vulnerable to malicious and intentional cyberattacks involving malware and viruses, accidental or inadvertent incidents, the exploitation of security vulnerabilities or “bugs” in software or hardware, among other scenarios. Both the frequency and magnitude of cyberattacks is expected to increase and attackers are becoming more sophisticated. A cyber-attack may involve persons gaining unauthorized access to our digital systems for purposes of gathering, monitoring, releasing, misappropriating or corrupting proprietary or confidential information, or causing operational disruption. Unauthorized physical access to one of our facilities or electronic access to our information systems could result in, among other things, unfavorable publicity, litigation by affected parties, damage to sources of competitive advantage, disruptions to our operations, loss of customers, financial obligations for damages related to the theft or misuse of such information and costs to remediate such security vulnerabilities, any of which could have a substantial impact on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows. As cyber incidents continue to evolve, we may be required to expend additional resources to continue to modify or enhance our protective measures or to investigate and remediate any vulnerability to cyber incidents. Additionally, we may be unable to anticipate, detect or prevent future attacks, particularly as the methodologies utilized by attackers change frequently or are not recognized until launched, and we may be unable to investigate or remediate incidents because attackers are increasingly using techniques and tools designed to circumvent controls, to avoid detection, and to remove or obfuscate forensic evidence. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented additional operational and cybersecurity risks due to continued work-from-home arrangements that have facilitated increased risk of social engineering events (for example phishing) and of the exploitation of vulnerabilities inherent in many non-corporate networks.

To that end, we have implemented security protocols, controls, and systems with the intent of maintaining the physical and electronic security of our operations and protecting our and our counterparties’ confidential information and information related to identifiable individuals against unauthorized access. Despite such efforts, we have been and may be subject to security breaches, which have resulted and could result in unauthorized access to our facilities or the information that we are trying to protect. For example, on July 29, 2023, the Company discovered a ransomware attack impacting its on-premises information technology systems, including the theft of certain Company data. Upon learning of the incident, the Company immediately retained external resources to investigate, isolate and contain the threat, and restore the Company’s affected information technology systems, and the Company was able to recover access to all material data. The Company did not incur during the third quarter of 2023, and does not expect to incur in the future, any material cyber-security-related expenses related to the incident.

As of December 1, 2023, the Company has a cyber insurance policy. In the future, existing liquidity and cash flows may be insufficient to cover all losses that may be incurred in the continually evolving area of cyber risk.

While the Company was able to manage this incident without any significant disruptions to our operations or any material financial impact, there can be no assurance that we will not be the target of a similar or more sophisticated attack in the future, which could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, or financial condition.
Our executive officers and other key personnel are important to our success and the loss of one or more of these individuals could harm our business.
Our executive officers and other key personnel have significant experience in the steelmaking coal or other commodity businesses and the loss of certain of these individuals could harm our business, absent the completion of an orderly transition. Moreover, there may be a limited number of persons with the requisite experience and skills to serve in our senior management positions. Although we have been successful in attracting qualified individuals for key management and corporate positions in the past, there can be no assurance that we will continue to be successful in attracting and retaining a sufficient number of qualified personnel in the future or that we will be able to do so on acceptable terms. The loss of key management personnel could harm our ability to successfully manage our business functions, prevent us from executing our business strategy and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows.


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Risks Related to Our Industry

Our business may suffer as a result of a substantial or extended decline in steelmaking coal pricing or the failure of any recovery or stabilization of steelmaking coal prices to endure, as well as any substantial or extended decline in the demand for steelmaking coal and other factors beyond our control, which could negatively affect our operating results and cash flows.

Our profitability depends on the prices at which we sell our steelmaking coal, which are largely dependent on prevailing market prices. A substantial or extended decrease in steelmaking coal pricing or the failure of a price recovery or stabilization following such decrease will negatively affect our operating cash flows. We have experienced significant price fluctuations in our steelmaking coal business, and we expect that such fluctuations will continue. Demand for, and therefore the price of, steelmaking coal is driven by a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, the following:

the domestic and foreign supply and demand for steelmaking coal;

the quantity and quality of steelmaking coal available from competitors;

the demand for and price of steel;

adverse weather, climatic and other natural conditions, including natural disasters;

domestic and foreign economic conditions, including slowdowns in domestic and foreign economies and financial markets;

global and regional political events;

domestic and foreign legislative, regulatory and judicial developments, environmental regulatory changes and changes in energy policy and energy conservation measures that could adversely affect the steelmaking coal industry;

capacity, reliability, availability and cost of transportation and port facilities, and the proximity of available steelmaking coal to such transportation and port facilities; and

other factors beyond our control, such as terrorism, war, and pandemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

The steelmaking coal industry also faces concerns with respect to oversupply from time to time, which could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, reductions in the demand for steelmaking coal caused by reduced steel production by our customers, increases in the use of substitutes for steel (such as aluminum, composites or plastics) or less expensive substitutes for steelmaking coal and the use of steelmaking technologies that use less or no steelmaking coal can significantly adversely affect our financial results and impede growth. Our natural gas business is also subject to adverse changes in pricing due to, among other factors, changes in demand and competition from alternative energy sources.
Our customers are continually evaluating alternative steel production technologies which may reduce demand for our product.
Our product is primarily used as HCC for blast furnace steel producers. High-quality HCC commands a significant price premium over other forms of coal because of its value in use in blast furnaces for steel production. High-quality HCC is a scarce commodity and has specific physical and chemical properties which are necessary for efficient blast furnace operation. Alternative technologies are continually being investigated and developed with a view to reducing production costs or for other reasons, such as minimizing environmental or social impact. If competitive technologies emerge or are increasingly utilized that use other materials in place of our product or that diminish the required amount of our product, such as electric arc furnaces or pulverized coal injection processes, demand and price for our steelmaking coal might fall. Many of these alternative technologies are designed to use lower quality coals or other sources of carbon instead of higher cost high-quality HCC. While conventional blast furnace technology has been the most economic large-scale steel production technology for a number of years, and while emergent technologies typically take many years to commercialize, there can be no assurance that over the longer term competitive technologies not reliant on HCC could emerge which could reduce demand and price premiums for HCC.
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Substantially all of our revenues are derived from the sale of steelmaking coal. This lack of diversification of our business could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We rely on the steelmaking coal production from our two active steelmaking coal mines for substantially all of our revenues. For the year ended December 31, 2023, revenues from the sale of steelmaking coal accounted for approximately 98.3% of our total revenues. As noted above, demand for steelmaking coal depends on domestic and foreign steel demand. At times, the pricing and availability of steel can be volatile due to numerous factors beyond our control. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the economies and financial markets of many countries, including those of our customers, which are primarily located in Europe, South America and Asia. Any economic downturn (including any downturn related to the COVID-19 pandemic or another global pandemic) could adversely affect demand for our steelmaking coal and contribute to volatile supply and demand conditions affecting prices and volumes. In addition, the ability of our suppliers' and customers' employees to work may be significantly impacted by individuals contracting or being exposed to COVID-19, or as a result of control measures taken by us, other businesses and the government to curtail the spread of the virus, which may significantly affect the demand for steelmaking coal. When steel prices are lower, the prices that we charge steelmaking customers for our steelmaking coal may decline, which could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Since we are heavily dependent on the steelmaking industry, adverse economic conditions in this industry, even in the presence of otherwise favorable economic conditions in the broader coal industry, could have a significantly greater impact on our financial condition and results of operations than if our business were more diversified. In addition, our lack of diversification may make us more susceptible to such adverse economic conditions than our competitors with more diversified operations and/or asset portfolios, such as those that produce thermal coal in addition to steelmaking coal.
All of our mining operations are located in Alabama, making us vulnerable to risks associated with having our production concentrated in one geographic area.

All of our mining operations are geographically concentrated in Alabama. As a result of this concentration, we may be disproportionately exposed to the impact of delays or interruptions in production caused by significant governmental regulation, transportation capacity constraints, constraints on the availability of required equipment, facilities, personnel or services, curtailment of production, extreme weather conditions, natural disasters, pandemics (such as the COVID-19 pandemic) or interruption of transportation or other events that impact Alabama or its surrounding areas. If any of these factors were to impact Alabama more than other steelmaking coal producing regions, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows will be adversely affected relative to other mining companies with operations in unaffected regions or that have a more geographically diversified asset portfolio.
Steelmaking coal mining involves many hazards and operating risks, some of which may not be fully covered by insurance, and is dependent upon many factors and conditions beyond our control. The occurrence of a significant accident or other event that is not fully insured could curtail our operations and may cause our profitability and financial position to decline.
Our mining operations, including our preparation and transportation infrastructure, are subject to inherent hazards and operating risks that could disrupt operations, decrease production and increase the cost of mining for varying lengths of time. Specifically, underground mining and related processing activities present risks of injury to persons and damage to property and equipment. In addition, steelmaking coal mining is dependent upon a number of conditions beyond our control that can disrupt operations and/or affect our costs and production schedules at particular mines. These risks, hazards and conditions include, but are not limited to:
variations in geological conditions, such as the thickness of the steelmaking coal seam and amount of rock embedded in the steelmaking coal deposit and variations in rock and other natural materials overlying the steelmaking coal deposit, that could affect the stability of the roof and the side walls of the mine;
mining, process and equipment or mechanical failures, unexpected maintenance problems and delays in moving longwall equipment;
the unavailability of raw materials, equipment (including heavy mobile equipment) or other critical supplies such as tires, explosives, fuel, lubricants and other consumables of the type, quantity and/or size needed to meet production expectations;
adverse weather and natural disasters, such as heavy rains or snow, forest fires, flooding and other natural events, including seismic activities, ground failures, rock bursts or structural cave-ins or slides, affecting our operations or transportation to our customers;
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railroad delays or derailments;
environmental hazards, such as subsidence and excess water ingress;
delays and difficulties in acquiring, maintaining or renewing necessary permits or mining rights;
availability of adequate skilled employees and other labor relations matters;
security breaches or terroristic acts;
unexpected mine accidents, including rock-falls and explosions caused by the ignition of met coal dust, natural gas or other explosive sources at our mine sites or fires caused by the spontaneous combustion of steelmaking coal or similar mining accidents;
competition and/or conflicts with other natural resource extraction activities and production within our operating areas, such as natural gas extraction or oil and gas development; and
other hazards that could also result in personal injury and loss of life, pollution and suspension of operations.
These risks and conditions could result in damage to or the destruction of our mineral properties, equipment or production facilities, personal injury or death, environmental damage, delays in mining, regulatory investigations, actions and penalties, repair and remediation costs, monetary losses and legal liability. In addition, a significant mine accident could potentially cause a suspension of operations or a complete mine shutdown. Our insurance coverage may not be available or sufficient to fully cover claims that may arise from these risks and conditions. We may elect not to obtain insurance for any or all of these risks if we believe that the cost of available insurance is excessive relative to the risks presented. In addition, pollution or environmental risks generally are not fully insurable. Moreover, a significant mine accident could potentially cause a mine shutdown. The occurrence of an event that is not fully covered by insurance or that results in a mine shutdown could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We have also seen adverse geological conditions in the mines, such as variations in steelmaking coal seam thickness, variations in the competency and make-up of the roof strata, fault-related discontinuities in the steelmaking coal seam and the potential for ingress of excessive amounts of natural gas or water. Such adverse conditions may increase our cost of sales and reduce our profitability and may cause us to decide to close a mine. Any of these risks or conditions could have a negative impact on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
In addition, if any of the foregoing changes, conditions or events occurs and is not excusable as a force majeure event, any resulting failure on our part to deliver steelmaking coal to the purchaser under our contracts could result in economic penalties, suspension or cancellation of shipments or ultimately termination of the agreement, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Our business is subject to inherent risks, some for which we maintain third party insurance. We may not have adequate insurance coverage for some business risks. We may incur losses and be subject to liability claims that could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
We maintain insurance policies that provide limited coverage for some, but not all, potential risks and liabilities associated with our business. The insurance that we maintain may contain certain deductible amounts and cover risks and liabilities typical for a coal mining business including, but not limited to, property, general liability and business interruption. Although we maintain insurance for a number of risks and hazards, we may not be insured or fully insured against the losses or liabilities that could arise from a significant accident in our coal operations. We may elect not to obtain insurance for any or all of these risks if we believe that the cost of available insurance is excessive relative to the risks presented. Moreover, a significant mine accident could potentially cause a mine shutdown. The occurrence of an event that is not fully covered by insurance or that results in a mine shutdown could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. The risk of increased insurance costs may be exasperated where an adverse event results in us asserting an insurance claim, the cost of which our insurers may seek to recoup during a future insurance renewal through increased premiums or limitations on coverage.
As a result of market conditions, premiums and deductibles for certain insurance policies can increase substantially, and in some instances certain insurance may become unavailable or available only for reduced amounts of coverage. As a result, we may not be able to renew our existing insurance policies or procure other desirable insurance on commercially
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reasonable terms, if at all. In addition, certain environmental, contamination and pollution risks generally are not fully insurable. Even where insurance coverage applies, insurers may contest their obligations to make payments. One of the tools used to manage this risk is an insurance captive, which allows us to control premiums, increase control over claims management, tailor coverage to our specific needs and improve risk control. Our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected by losses and liabilities from uninsured or under-insured events, as well as by delays in the payment of insurance proceeds, or the failure by insurers to make payments.
We also may incur costs and liabilities resulting from claims for damages to property or injury to persons arising from our operations. We must compensate employees for work-related injuries. If we do not make adequate provision for our workers’ compensation and black lung liabilities, or we are pursued for applicable sanctions, costs and liabilities, our operations and profitability could be adversely affected. Certain of our subsidiaries are responsible for medical and disability benefits for black lung disease under federal law and are insured beginning April 1, 2016 for claims made by or on behalf of any of our employees. As a result of our limited operating history as a stand-alone company, the DOL required us to provide insurance coverage rather than be self-insured for these obligations.
The number and quality of viable financing alternatives available to us may be significantly impacted by unfavorable lending and investment policies by financial institutions associated with concerns about environmental impacts of carbon based fuels. Negative views with respect to environmental and social matters and related governance considerations could result in a low ESG or sustainability score and could harm the perception of our Company by certain investors and activists or result in the exclusion of our securities from consideration by those investors. In addition, there are fewer insurance companies willing to provide line of business coverages related to ESG concerns which can result in higher company premiums and retained losses.
Global climate change continues to attract considerable public and scientific attention, with widespread concern about the impacts of human activity, especially the emission of GHGs, such as carbon dioxide and methane. Some of our operations, such as methane release resulting from steelmaking coal mining, directly emit GHGs.
Increased attention to climate change, societal expectations on companies to address climate change and investor and societal expectations regarding voluntary ESG disclosures may result in negative views of us with respect to ESG issues that could result in a low ESG score or similar sustainability score, could harm the perception of our Company by certain investors, or could result in the exclusion of our securities from consideration by those investors.
Certain financial institutions, including banks and insurance companies, have taken actions to limit available financing, insurance and other services to entities that produce or use fossil fuels. Increasingly, the actions of such financial institutions and insurance companies are based upon non-standardized ESG or "sustainability" scores, ratings and benchmarking studies provided by various organizations that assess corporate governance related to environmental and social matters. Currently, there are no universal standards for such scores or ratings, but the importance of sustainability evaluations is becoming more broadly accepted by investors and stockholders. Further, there have been efforts in recent years by members of the general financial and investment communities, including investment advisors, sovereign wealth funds, public pension funds, universities, other institutional investors and activists, to divest themselves and to promote the divestment of securities issued by companies involved in carbon based fuels or that have low ratings or scores in studies and assessments of the type noted above, including coal producers. These entities also have been pressuring lenders to limit financing available to such companies. Companies in the energy industry, and in particular those focused on coal, natural gas or petroleum extraction and refining, often perform worse under ESG assessments compared to companies in other industries. These may have adverse consequences including, but not limited to:
restricting our ability to access capital and financial markets in the future;
excluding our securities from the portfolios of certain investment funds and investors;
reducing the demand and price for our equity securities;
increasing the cost of borrowing;
causing a decline in our credit ratings;
reducing the availability, and/or increasing the cost of, third-party insurance;
increasing our retention of risk through self-insurance;
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making it more difficult to obtain surety bonds, letters of credit, bank guarantees or other financing; and
limiting our flexibility in business development activities such as the development of Blue Creek, mergers, acquisitions or divestitures.


ESG expectations, including both the matters in focus and the management of such matters, continue to evolve rapidly. For example, in addition to climate change, there is increasing attention on topics such as diversity and inclusion, human rights, and human and natural capital, in companies’ own operations as well as their supply chains. In addition, perspectives on ESG considerations continue to evolve, and we cannot currently predict how regulators’, investors’ and other stakeholders’ views on ESG matters may affect the regulatory and investment landscape and affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations. If we do not, or are perceived to not, adapt or comply with investor or stakeholder expectations and standards on ESG matters, we may suffer from reputational damage and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. Any reputational damage associated with ESG factors may also adversely impact our ability to recruit and retain employees and customers.

Moreover, while we may publish voluntary disclosures regarding ESG matters from time to time, many of the statements in those voluntary disclosures are based on hypothetical expectations and assumptions that may or may not be representative of current or actual risks or events, or forecasts of expected risks or events, including the costs associated therewith. Such expectations and assumptions are necessarily uncertain and may be prone to error or subject to misinterpretation given the long timelines involved in measuring and reporting on many ESG matters.

In March 2022, the SEC proposed new rules relating to the disclosure of a range of climate-related risks and other information. To the extent this rule is finalized as proposed, we and/or our customers could incur increased costs related to the assessment and disclosure of climate-related information. Enhanced climate disclosure requirements could also accelerate any trend by certain stakeholders and capital providers to restrict or seek more stringent conditions with respect to their financing of certain carbon intensive sectors.

Any future laws, regulations or other policies related to greenhouse gas emissions may adversely impact our business in material ways. The degree to which any particular law, regulation or policy impacts us will depend on several factors, including the substantive terms involved, the relevant time periods for enactment and any related transition periods.
Defects in title of any real property or leasehold interests in our properties or associated steelmaking coal reserves could limit our ability to mine or develop these properties or result in significant unanticipated costs.
All of our mining operations are conducted on properties owned or leased by us. Our right to mine our steelmaking coal reserves may be materially adversely affected by defects in title or boundaries or if our property interests are subject to superior property rights of third parties. We do not have title insurance for any of our real property or leasehold interests and, title to most of our owned or leased properties and mineral rights is not usually verified until we make a commitment to mine a property, which may not occur until after we have obtained necessary permits and completed exploration of the property. Any challenge to our title or leasehold interests could delay the mining of the property, result in the loss of some or all of our interest in the property or steelmaking coal reserves and increase our costs. In order to conduct our mining operations on properties where these defects exist, we may incur unanticipated costs perfecting title. In addition, if we mine or conduct our operations on property that we do not own or lease, we could incur civil damages or liabilities for such mining operations and be subject to conversion, negligence, trespass, regulatory sanction and penalties. Some leases have minimum production requirements or require us to commence mining operations in a specified term to retain the lease. Failure to meet those requirements could result in losses of prepaid royalties and, in some rare cases, could result in a loss of the lease itself.
We face uncertainties in estimating our proven and probable steelmaking coal reserves, and inaccuracies in our estimates of our steelmaking coal reserves could result in decreased profitability from lower than expected revenues or higher than expected costs.
Our future performance depends on, among other things, the accuracy of our estimates of our proven and probable steelmaking coal reserves. Reserve estimates are based on a number of sources of information, including engineering, geological, mining and property control maps and data, our operational experience of historical production from similar areas with similar conditions and assumptions governing future pricing and operational costs. We update our estimates of the quantity and quality of proven and probable steelmaking coal reserves at least annually to reflect the production of steelmaking coal from the reserves, updated geological models and mining recovery data, the tonnage contained in new lease areas acquired and
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estimated costs of production and sales prices. There are numerous factors and assumptions inherent in estimating steelmaking coal quantities, qualities and costs to mine, including many factors beyond our control, such as the following:
geological and mining conditions, including faults in the steelmaking coal seam;
historical production from the area compared with production from other producing areas;
the percentage of steelmaking coal ultimately recoverable;
the assumed effects of regulations and taxes and other payments to governmental agencies;
our ability to obtain, maintain and renew all required permits;
future improvements in mining technology;
assumptions concerning the timing of the development of the reserves; and
assumptions concerning equipment and operational productivity, future steelmaking coal prices, operating costs, including those for critical supplies such as fuel, tires and explosives, capital expenditures and development and reclamation costs.
Each of these factors may vary considerably from the assumptions used in estimating the reserves. As a result, estimates of the quantities and qualities of economically recoverable steelmaking coal attributable to any particular group of properties, classifications of reserves based on risk of recovery, estimated cost of production, and estimates of future net cash flows expected from these properties as prepared by different engineers or by the same engineers at different times may vary materially due to changes in the above factors and assumptions. Actual production recovered from identified reserve areas and properties, and revenues and expenditures associated with our mining operations may vary materially from estimates. Any inaccuracy in our estimates related to our reserves could result in decreased profitability from lower-than-expected revenues and/or higher than expected costs.
Our inability to develop steelmaking coal reserves in an economically feasible manner or our inability to acquire additional steelmaking coal reserves that are economically recoverable may adversely affect our business.
Our long-term profitability depends in part on our ability to cost-effectively mine and process steelmaking coal reserves that possess the quality characteristics desired by our customers. As we mine, our steelmaking coal reserves decline. As a result, our future success depends upon our ability to develop or acquire additional steelmaking coal reserves that are economically recoverable to replace the reserves that we produce. Coal is economically recoverable when the price at which our steelmaking coal can be sold exceeds the costs and expenses of mining and selling such steelmaking coal. We may not be able to obtain adequate economically recoverable replacement reserves when we require them and, even if available, such reserves may not be at favorable prices or we may not be capable of mining those reserves at costs that are comparable to our existing steelmaking coal reserves. Our ability to develop or acquire steelmaking coal reserves in the future may also be limited by the availability of cash from our operations or financing under our existing or future financing arrangements, as well as certain restrictions under such arrangements. If we are unable to develop or acquire replacement reserves, our future production may decrease significantly as existing reserves are depleted and this may have a material adverse impact on our cash flows, financial position and results of operations.
Any significant downtime of our major pieces of mining equipment could impair our ability to supply steelmaking coal to our customers and materially and adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows.
We depend on several major pieces of mining equipment to produce and transport our steelmaking coal, including, but not limited to, longwall mining systems, continuous mining units, our preparation plant and blending facilities, and conveyors. Obtaining or repairing these major pieces of mining equipment often involves long lead times. If any of these pieces of equipment or facilities suffer major damage or are destroyed by fire, abnormal wear, flooding, incorrect operation or otherwise, we may be unable to replace or repair them in a timely manner or at a reasonable cost, which would impact our ability to produce and transport steelmaking coal and materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Moreover, MSHA and other regulatory agencies sometimes make changes with regards to requirements for pieces of equipment. For example, in 2015, MSHA promulgated a new regulation requiring the implementation of proximity detection devices on all continuous mining machines. Such changes could cause delays if manufacturers and suppliers are unable to make the required changes in compliance with mandated deadlines.
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If either our preparation plant or river barge load-out facilities, or those of a third party processing or loading our steelmaking coal, suffer extended downtime, including major damage, or are destroyed, our ability to process and deliver steelmaking coal to prospective customers would be materially impacted, which would materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We may not recover our investments in our mining, exploration and other assets, which may require us to recognize impairment charges related to those assets.
The value of our assets may be adversely affected by numerous uncertain factors, some of which are beyond our control, including unfavorable changes in the economic environments in which we operate, lower-than-expected coal pricing, technical and geological operating difficulties, an inability to economically extract our coal reserves and unanticipated increases in operating costs. These may cause us to fail to recover all or a portion of our investments in those assets and may trigger the recognition of impairment charges in the future, which could have a substantial impact on our results of operations.
Because of the volatile and cyclical nature of the U.S. and international coal markets, it is reasonably possible that our current estimates of projected future cash flows from our mining assets may change in the near term, which may result in the need for adjustments to the carrying value of our assets.

Risks Related to Regulatory Compliance
We are responsible for medical and disability benefits for black lung disease under federal law. We assumed certain historical self-insured black lung liabilities of Walter Energy and its subsidiaries incurred prior to April 1, 2016 in connection with the acquisition of certain assets of Walter Energy. We are self-insured for these black lung liabilities and have posted certain collateral with the Department of Labor as described below. Changes in the estimated claims to be paid or changes in the amount of collateral required by the Department of Labor may have a greater impact on our profitability and cash flows in the future.

We are responsible for medical and disability benefits for black lung disease under the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, the Mine Act and the Black Lung Benefits Act, each as amended, and are self-insured for black lung related claims asserted by or on behalf of former employees of Walter Energy and its subsidiaries as assumed in the acquisition of certain assets of Walter Energy for the period prior to April 1, 2016. We perform an annual actuarial evaluation of the overall black lung liabilities as of each December 31st. The calculation is performed using assumptions regarding rates of successful claims, discount factors, benefit increases and mortality rates, among others. If the number of or severity of successful claims increases, or we are required to accrue or pay additional amounts because the successful claims prove to be more severe than our original assessment, our operating results and cash flows could be negatively impacted. Our self-insurance program for these legacy liabilities is unique to the industry and was specifically negotiated with the DOL. As of December 31, 2023, we have posted $18.6 million in surety bonds and $9.0 million of collateral recognized as short term investments in addition to maintaining a black lung trust of $1.8 million that was acquired in the acquisition of certain assets of Walter Energy. We received a letter from the DOL on February 21, 2020 under its new process for self-insurance renewals that would require us to increase the amount of collateral posted to $39.8 million, but we appealed such increase. We received another letter from the DOL on December 8, 2021 requesting additional information to support our appeal of the collateral requested by the DOL. On February 9, 2022, the DOL held a conference call with representatives from the Company related to our appeal. On July 12, 2022, we received a decision on our appeal from the DOL lowering the amount of collateral required to be posted from $39.8 million to $28 million. We appealed this decision. In addition, on January 19, 2023, the DOL proposed revisions to regulations under the Black Lung Benefits Act governing authorization of self-insurers. The proposed rules require, among other requirements, all self-insured operators to post security of at least 120 percent of their projected black lung liabilities. For additional information see “Part I, Item 1. Business-Environmental and Regulatory Matters-Workers’ Compensation and Black Lung.” Our estimated total black lung liabilities as of December 31, 2023 were $28.8 million (net of the black lung trust). In future years, the DOL could require us to increase the amount of the collateral which could negatively impact our cash flows.
Our failure to obtain and renew permits necessary for our mining operations could negatively affect our business.

Mining companies must obtain numerous permits that impose strict regulations on various environmental and operational matters in connection with steelmaking coal mining. These include permits issued by various federal, state and local agencies and regulatory bodies. The permitting rules, and the interpretations of these rules, are complex, change frequently and are often subject to discretionary interpretations by the regulators, all of which may make compliance more difficult or impractical, and may possibly preclude the continuance of ongoing operations or the development of future mining operations. The public, including non-governmental organizations, anti-mining groups and individuals, have certain statutory rights to comment upon and submit objections to requested permits and environmental impact statements prepared in connection with applicable regulatory processes, and otherwise engage in the permitting process, including bringing citizens’ lawsuits to
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challenge the issuance of permits, the validity of environmental impact statements or performance of mining activities. Accordingly, required permits may not be issued or renewed in a timely fashion or at all, or permits issued or renewed may be conditioned in a manner that may restrict our ability to efficiently and economically conduct our mining activities, any of which would materially reduce our production, cash flow and profitability.
Extensive environmental, health and safety laws and regulations impose significant costs on our operations and future regulations could increase those costs, limit our ability to produce or adversely affect the demand for our products.
Our businesses are subject to numerous federal, state and local laws and regulations with respect to matters such as:
permitting and licensing requirements;
employee health and safety, including occupational and mine health and safety;
workers’ compensation;
black lung disease;
reclamation and restoration of property; and
environmental laws and regulations, including those related to GHGs and climate change, air quality, water quality, stream and surface water quality and protection, management of materials generated by mining operations, the storage, treatment and disposal of wastes, protection of plant and wildlife such as endangered species, protection of wetlands and remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater.
In addition, the coal industry in the U.S. is affected by significant legislation mandating certain benefits for current and retired coal miners. Compliance with these requirements imposes significant costs on us and can result in reduced productivity. Moreover, the possibility exists that new health and safety legislation and/or regulations may be adopted and/or orders may be entered that may materially and adversely affect our mining operations. We must compensate employees for work-related injuries. If we do not make adequate provisions for our workers’ compensation liabilities, it could harm our future operating results. In addition, the erosion through tort liability of the protections we are currently provided by workers’ compensation laws could increase our liability for work-related injuries and materially and adversely affect our operating results.
 Compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations may be costly and time-consuming and may delay commencement or interrupt continuation of exploration or production at one or more of our operations. These laws are constantly evolving and may become increasingly stringent. The ultimate impact of complying with existing laws and regulations is not always clearly known or determinable due in part to the fact that certain implementing regulations for these laws have not yet been promulgated and in certain instances are undergoing revision. These laws and regulations, particularly new legislative or administrative proposals (or judicial interpretations of existing laws and regulations), along with analogous foreign laws and regulations, could result in substantially increased capital, operating and compliance costs and could have a material adverse effect on our operations and/or our customers’ ability to use our products.
Due in part to the extensive and comprehensive regulatory requirements, along with changing interpretations of these requirements, violations of applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations occur from time to time in our industry and at our operations. Changes in the law may require an unprecedented compliance effort on our part, could divert management’s attention, and may require significant expenditures. To the extent that these expenditures, as with all costs, are not ultimately reflected in the prices of our products and services, operating results will be detrimentally impacted. We believe that our major North American competitors are confronted by substantially similar conditions and thus do not believe that our relative position with regard to such competitors is materially affected by the impact of safety and environmental laws and regulations. However, the costs and operating restrictions necessary for compliance with safety and environmental laws and regulations, which is a major cost consideration for our operations, may have an adverse effect on our competitive position with regard to foreign producers and operators who may not be required to undertake equivalent costs in their operations. In addition, the specific impact on each competitor may vary depending on a number of factors, including the age and location of its operating facilities, applicable state legislation and its production methods.
Additionally, MSHA and state regulators may also order the temporary or permanent closing of a mine in the event of certain violations of safety rules, accidents or imminent dangers. In addition, regulators may order changes to mine plans or operations due to their interpretation or application of existing or new laws or regulations. Any required changes to mine plans or operations may result in temporary idling of production or addition of costs.
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Our mines are subject to stringent federal and state safety regulations that increase our cost of doing business at active operations and may place restrictions on our methods of operation. In addition, federal, state or local regulatory agencies have the authority to order certain of our mines to be temporarily or permanently closed under certain circumstances, which could materially and adversely affect our ability to meet our customers’ demands.
The Mine Act and the MINER Act impose stringent health and safety standards on mining operations. Regulations that have been adopted under the Mine Act and the MINER Act are comprehensive and affect numerous aspects of mining operations, including training of mining personnel, mining procedure, the equipment used in emergency procedures, and other matters. Alabama has a similar program for mine safety and health regulation and enforcement. The various requirements mandated by law or regulation can place restrictions on our methods of operations, and potentially lead to fees and civil penalties for the violation of such requirements, creating a significant effect on operating costs and productivity.
In addition, federal, state or local regulatory agencies have the authority under certain circumstances following significant health and safety incidents, such as fatalities, to order a mine to be temporarily or permanently closed. If this occurred, we may be required to incur capital expenditures to re-open the mine. In the event that these agencies order the closing of our mines, our steelmaking coal sales contracts generally permit us to issue force majeure notices, which suspend our obligations to deliver steelmaking coal under these contracts; however, our customers may challenge our issuances of force majeure notices. If these challenges are successful, we may have to purchase steelmaking coal from third-party sources, if available, to fulfill these obligations or incur capital expenditures to re-open the mines and/or negotiate settlements with the customers, which may include price reductions, the reduction of commitments, and the extension of time for delivery or the termination of customers’ contracts. Any of these actions could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
 Increased focus by regulatory authorities on the effects of coal mining on the environment and recent regulatory developments related to coal mining operations, including the federal leasing program, could increase our costs to receive new permits to mine steelmaking coal, make it more difficult to comply with our existing permits to mine coal or to obtain federal land and mineral leases, or otherwise adversely affect us.
Regulatory agencies are increasingly focused on the effects of coal mining on the environment, particularly relating to water quality, which has resulted in more rigorous permitting requirements and enforcement efforts. See “Part I, Item 1. Business-Environmental and Regulatory Matters” for a detailed discussion of these regulations and programs.
The SMCRA requires that comprehensive environmental protection and reclamation standards be met during the course of and following completion of mining activities. Among other requirements, the SMCRA provides that the applicable regulatory authority may not issue a permit unless the operation has been designed to prevent material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area. In 1983, the OSM issued rules providing that no land within 100 feet of a stream shall be disturbed by surface mining activities, unless specifically authorized by the regulatory authority. On December 20, 2016, the OSM published a new, finalized “Stream Protection Rule,” setting standards for “material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area” that are applicable to surface and underground mining operations. However, on February 16, 2017, former President Trump signed a joint congressional resolution disapproving the Stream Protection Rule pursuant to the Congressional Review Act. Accordingly, the regulations in effect prior to the Stream Protection Rule now apply, including OSM’s 1983 rule. It remains unclear whether and how additional actions by the Biden Administration could further impact regulatory or enforcement activities pursuant to the SMCRA.
Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) requires mining companies to obtain USACE permits to place material in streams for the purpose of creating slurry ponds, water impoundments, refuse areas, valley fills or other mining activities. As is the case with other steelmaking coal mining companies, our construction and mining activities require Section 404 permits. The issuance of permits to construct valley fills and refuse impoundments under Section 404 of the CWA has been the subject of many court cases and increased regulatory oversight, resulting in additional permitting requirements that are expected to delay or even prevent the opening of new mines. For example, in recent years, regulators have adopted more stringent water quality standards for materials such as selenium. We have begun to incorporate these new requirements into our current permit applications; however, there can be no guarantee that we will be able to meet these or any other new standards with respect to our permit applications.
Additionally, in January 2011, the EPA rescinded a federal CWA permit held by another coal mining company for a surface mine in Appalachia citing associated environmental damage and degradation. On April 23, 2013, the D.C. Circuit ruled that the EPA has the power under the CWA to retroactively veto a Section 404 dredge and fill permit “whenever” it makes a determination about certain adverse effects, even years after the USACE has granted the permit to an applicant. On March 24, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court denied petitions for review. Subsequently, on July 19, 2016, the D.C. Circuit affirmed the district
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court’s further ruling that the EPA’s decision to withdraw approval for disposal sites satisfied administrative requirements. The D.C. Circuit held that the EPA’s ex post withdrawal was a product of its broad veto authority under the CWA, not a procedural defect. While our operations are not directly impacted by this ruling, it could be an indication that other surface mining water permits could be subject to more substantial review in the future.
Recent regulatory actions and court decisions created some uncertainty over the scope of CWA jurisdiction. On June 29, 2015, in response to Supreme Court decisions discussing the scope of CWA jurisdiction, the EPA and the USACE jointly promulgated final rules expanding the scope of waters protected under the CWA, revising regulations that had been in place for more than 25 years. However, on October 22, 2019, the agencies published a final rule to repeal the 2015 rules and then on April 21, 2020, the EPA and the USACE published a replacement rule that would have significantly reduced the scope of waters subject to federal regulation under the CWA. On August 30, 2021, a federal court struck down the replacement rule and, on January 18, 2023, the EPA and the USACE published a final rule that would restore water protections that were in place prior to 2015. However, on May 25, 2023, the Supreme Court issued an opinion substantially narrowing the scope of "waters of the United States" protected under the CWA. On September 8, 2023, the EPA and the USACE published a final rule conforming their regulations to the decision. These recent actions provided much needed clarity, as confusion over the scope of CWA jurisdiction had led to significant permitting delays, litigation, and uncertainty in the mining industry.
It is unknown what future changes will be implemented to the permitting review and issuance process or to other aspects of mining operations, but increased regulatory focus, future laws and judicial decisions could materially and adversely affect all coal mining companies. In addition, the public, including non-governmental organizations, anti-mining groups and individuals, have certain statutory rights to comment upon and submit objections to requested permits and environmental impact statements prepared in connection with applicable regulatory processes, and otherwise engage in the permitting process, including bringing citizens’ lawsuits to challenge the issuance of permits, the validity of environmental impact statements or performance of mining activities.
In each jurisdiction in which we operate, we could incur additional permitting and operating costs, may be unable to obtain new permits or maintain existing permits and could incur fines, penalties and other costs, any of which could materially adversely affect our business. If steelmaking coal mining methods are limited or prohibited, it could significantly increase our operational costs and make it more difficult to economically recover a significant portion of our reserves. In the event that we cannot increase the price we charge for steelmaking coal to cover the higher production costs without reducing customer demand for our steelmaking coal, there could be a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, increased public focus on the environmental, health and aesthetic impacts of coal mining could harm our reputation and reduce demand for steelmaking coal.
Regulation of air emissions, including GHG emissions, could increase our operating costs and impact the demand for, price of and value of our products.

The Clean Air Act and comparable state laws that regulate air emissions affect coal mining operations both directly and indirectly. Direct impacts on coal mining may occur through permitting requirements and/or emission control requirements relating to particulate matter, such as fugitive dust, or fine particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller. The Clean Air Act indirectly affects our mining operations by extensively regulating the air emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury, ozone and other compounds emitted by steel manufacturers, coke ovens and coal-fired utilities. Increased regulation of air emissions could increase our operating costs and impact the demand for, price of and value of our products.

Additionally, climate change continues to attract public and scientific attention, and increasing attention by government as well as private businesses is being paid to reducing GHG emissions. There are three primary sources of GHGs associated with the steelmaking coal industry. First, the end use of our steelmaking coal by our customers in steelmaking is a source of GHGs. Second, combustion of fuel by equipment used in steelmaking coal production and to transport our steelmaking coal to our customers is a source of GHGs. Third, steelmaking coal mining itself can release methane, which is considered to be a more potent GHG than carbon dioxide, directly into the atmosphere. These emissions from steelmaking coal consumption, transportation and production are subject to pending and proposed regulation as part of initiatives to address global climate.

There are many legal and regulatory approaches currently in effect or being considered to address GHGs, including international treaty commitments and new foreign, federal and state legislation and regulations, that may impose carbon emissions taxes or fees, incentivize emission reductions, or establish a “cap and trade” program. In particular, in August 2022, President Biden signed the IRA into law. The IRA contains billions of dollars in incentives for the development of renewable energy, clean hydrogen, clean fuels, electric vehicles, investments in advanced biofuels and supporting infrastructure and carbon capture and sequestration, amongst other provisions. These incentives could accelerate the transition of the economy
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away from the use of fossil fuels towards lower- or zero-carbon emissions alternatives. Also, at the international level, in December 2015, the United States participated in the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“Conference of Parties”) in Paris, France. The resulting Paris Agreement calls for the parties to undertake “ambitious efforts” to limit the average global temperature, and to conserve and enhance sinks and reservoirs of GHG. The Paris Agreement went into effect on November 4, 2016. The Paris Agreement establishes a framework for the parties to cooperate and report actions to reduce GHG emissions. Although the United States withdrew from the Paris Agreement effective November 4, 2020, President Biden issued an Executive Order on January 20, 2021 to rejoin the Paris Agreement, which went into effect on February 19, 2021. On April 21, 2021, the United States announced that it was setting an economy-wide target of reducing its GHG emissions by 50-52 percent below 2005 levels in 2030. In November 2021, in connection with the 26th session of the Conference of Parties in Glasgow, Scotland, the United States and other world leaders made further commitments to reduce GHGs, including reducing global methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 and ending the international public finance of new unabated coal power generation abroad by the end of 2021. The resulting Glasgow Climate Pact calls upon the parties to “accelerate efforts towards the phase-down of unabated coal power and phase-out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.”
The existing laws and regulations or other current and future efforts to stabilize or reduce GHG emissions could adversely impact the demand for, price of and value of our products and reserves. As our operations also emit GHGs directly, current or future laws or regulations limiting GHG emissions could increase our own costs. For example, methane must be expelled from our underground steelmaking coal mines for mining safety reasons. Although our natural gas operations capture methane from our underground steelmaking coal mines, some methane is vented into the atmosphere when the steelmaking coal is mined. In June 2010, Earthjustice petitioned the EPA to make a finding that emissions from coal mines may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare, and to list them as a stationary source subject to further regulation of emissions. On April 30, 2013, the EPA denied the petition. Judicial challenges seeking to force the EPA to list coal mines as stationary sources have likewise been unsuccessful to date. If the EPA were to make an endangerment finding in the future, we may have to further reduce our methane emissions, install additional air pollution controls, pay certain taxes or fees for our emissions, incur costs to purchase credits that permit us to continue operations as they now exist at our underground steelmaking coal mines or perhaps curtail steelmaking coal production. Although the potential impacts on us of additional climate change regulation are difficult to reliably quantify, they could be material.
In addition, there have also been efforts in recent years to influence the investment community, including investment advisors and certain sovereign wealth, pension and endowment funds promoting divestment of fossil fuel equities and pressuring lenders to limit funding to companies engaged in the extraction of fossil fuel reserves. Such environmental activism and initiatives aimed at limiting climate change and reducing air pollution could interfere with our business activities, operations and ability to access capital.
Increasing attention to climate change risk has also resulted in a recent trend of governmental investigations and private litigation by local and state government agencies as well as private plaintiffs in an effort to hold companies accountable for the effects of climate change. Claims have been made against certain companies alleging that GHG emissions constitute a public nuisance under federal and/or state common law. Private individuals or public entities may seek to enforce environmental laws and regulations against us and could allege personal injury, property damages or other liabilities. While we are not a party to any such litigation, we could be named in actions making similar allegations. An unfavorable ruling in any such case could significantly impact our operations and could have an adverse impact on our financial condition.
Further, climate change may cause more extreme weather conditions such as more intense hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes and snow or ice storms, as well as rising sea levels and increased volatility in seasonal temperatures. Extreme weather conditions can interfere with our services and increase our costs, and damage resulting from extreme weather may not be fully insured. However, at this time, we are unable to determine the extent to which climate change may lead to increased storm or weather hazards affecting our operations.
President Biden's regulatory agenda, and a closely divided Congress, creates some regulatory uncertainty for the coal mining industry. Changes in mining or environmental laws could increase costs and harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

President Biden’s regulatory agenda, as well as a closely divided Congress, creates some regulatory uncertainty in the coal mining industry. President Biden has indicated that he is supportive of various programs and initiatives designed to, among other things, curtail climate change, clean up abandoned mines, and “green” the mining industry. In fact, during his first week in office, President Biden issued several executive orders to, among other things, make climate considerations an essential element of U.S. policy. Also, in August 2022, he signed into law the IRA, which provides billions of dollars in incentives for the development of renewable energy. However, he has also called for heavy investment in infrastructure projects, many of
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which require the use of steel. Indeed, on November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which invests billions of dollars in new funding to repair roads and bridges, expand and modernize rail service, and support other infrastructure projects. It remains unclear what other actions President Biden will take to implement his policy initiatives, and what support he will have for any potential legislature from Congress. Further, it is uncertain to what extent any new mining or environmental laws or regulations, or any repeal of existing mining or environmental laws or regulations, may affect our coal mining operations. However, such actions could materially increase our costs or impair our ability to explore and develop other mining projects, which could materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our operations may impact the environment or cause exposure to hazardous substances and our properties may have environmental contamination, which could result in material liabilities to us.
Our operations currently use hazardous materials from time to time. We could become subject to claims for toxic torts, natural resource damages and other damages as well as for the investigation and cleanup of soil, surface water, groundwater and other media. Such claims may arise, for example, out of conditions at sites that we currently own or operate, as well as at sites that we previously owned or operated, or may acquire. Our liability for such claims may be joint and several, so that we may be held responsible for more than our share of the contamination or other damages, or even for the entire amount of damages assessed.
We maintain extensive steelmaking coal refuse areas and slurry impoundments at our mining complexes. Such areas and impoundments are subject to comprehensive regulation. Slurry impoundments have been known to fail, releasing large volumes of steelmaking coal slurry into the surrounding environment. Structural failure of an impoundment can result in extensive damage to the environment and natural resources, such as bodies of water that the steelmaking coal slurry reaches, as well as create liability for related personal injuries, property damages and injuries to wildlife. Some of our impoundments overlie mined out areas, which can pose a heightened risk of failure and the assessment of damages arising out of such failure. If one of our impoundments were to fail, we could be subject to substantial claims for the resulting environmental contamination and associated liability, as well as for related fines and penalties.
Drainage flowing from or caused by mining activities can be acidic with elevated levels of dissolved metals, a condition referred to as AMD. Treatment of AMD can be costly. Although we do not currently face material costs associated with AMD, it is possible that we could incur significant costs in the future.
 These and other similar unforeseen impacts that our operations may have on the environment, as well as exposures to hazardous substances or wastes associated with our operations, could result in costs and liabilities that could materially and adversely affect us. See also “Part I, Item 1. Business—Environmental and Regulatory Matters.”
Failure to obtain or renew surety bonds on acceptable terms could affect our ability to secure reclamation and coal lease obligations and, therefore, our ability to mine or lease steelmaking coal.
Federal and state laws require us to obtain surety bonds or post other financial security to secure performance or payment of certain long-term obligations, such as mine closure or reclamation costs, federal and state workers’ compensation and black lung benefits costs, coal leases and other obligations. The amount of security required to be obtained can change as the result of new federal or state laws, as well as changes to the factors used to calculate the bonding or security amounts. We may have difficulty procuring or maintaining our surety bonds. Our bond issuers may demand higher fees or additional collateral, including letters of credit or other terms less favorable to us upon those renewals. Because we are required by state and federal law to have these bonds or other acceptable security in place before mining can commence or continue, our failure to maintain surety bonds, letters of credit or other guarantees or security arrangements would materially and adversely affect our ability to mine or lease steelmaking coal. That failure could result from a variety of factors, including lack of availability, higher expense or unfavorable market terms, the exercise by third-party surety bond issuers of their right to refuse to renew the surety and restrictions on availability of collateral for current and future third-party surety bond issuers under the terms of our financing arrangements.
We have reclamation and mine closing obligations. If the assumptions underlying our accruals are inaccurate, we could be required to expend greater amounts than anticipated.
The SMCRA establishes operational, reclamation and closure standards for our mining operations. Alabama has a state law counterpart to SMCRA. We accrue for the costs of current mine disturbance and of final mine closure and reclamation, including the cost of treating mine water discharge where necessary. The amounts recorded are dependent upon a number of variables, including the estimated future closure costs, estimated proven reserves, assumptions involving profit margins,
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inflation rates and the assumed credit-adjusted risk-free interest rates. If these accruals are insufficient or our liability in a particular year is greater than currently anticipated, our future operating results could be materially affected.
Risks Related to our Financial Results and Finances
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness. Our substantial indebtedness could adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations and dividend policy, limit our ability to react to changes in the economy or our industry and prevent us from making debt service payments on the Notes.
As of December 31, 2023, we had approximately $173.2 million of outstanding indebtedness (consisting of $156.5 million of Notes, net of $3.5 million in unamortized debt discount and debt issuance costs and $20.2 million of financing lease obligations), all of which are secured, and $107.4 million of availability under our ABL Facility (subject to meeting the borrowing base and other conditions therein).
Our substantial indebtedness could have important consequences for us. For example, it could:
restrict us from making strategic acquisitions, engaging in development activities, introducing new technologies or exploiting business opportunities;
cause us to make non-strategic divestitures;
require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to the repayment of our indebtedness, thereby reducing funds available to us for other purposes, including the payment of quarterly dividends or any special dividends, as well as engaging in any stock repurchases;
limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our operations or business;
limit our ability to raise additional capital for working capital, capital expenditures, operations, debt service requirements, strategic initiatives or other purposes;
limit, along with the financial and other restrictive covenants in our indebtedness, among other things, our ability to borrow additional funds or dispose of assets;
prevent us from raising the funds necessary to repurchase all of the Notes tendered to us upon the occurrence of certain changes of control, which failure to repurchase would constitute a default under the Indenture;
make it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations with respect to our indebtedness, including the Notes, and any failure to comply with the obligations of any of our debt instruments, including restrictive covenants and borrowing conditions, could result in an event of default under the Indenture and the agreements governing other indebtedness;
make us more highly leveraged than some of our competitors, which may place us at a competitive disadvantage;
make us more vulnerable to downturns in our business or the economy; or
expose us to the risk of increased interest rates, as certain of our borrowings, including borrowings under the ABL Facility, are at variable rates of interest and are based upon benchmarks that are subject to potential change or elimination, including as a result of the FCA Announcement (as defined below).
In addition, our ABL Facility and the Indenture contain restrictive covenants that limit our ability to engage in activities that may be in our long-term best interest. Our failure to comply with those covenants could result in an event of default which, if not cured or waived, could result in the acceleration of substantially all of our indebtedness.
We may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service all of our indebtedness and may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness that may not be successful.
Our ability to pay principal and interest on the Notes and the ABL Facility and to satisfy our other debt obligations will depend upon, among other things:
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our future financial and operating performance (including the realization of any cost savings described herein), which will be affected by prevailing economic, industry and competitive conditions and financial, business, legislative, regulatory and other factors, many of which are beyond our control; and
our future ability to borrow under the ABL Facility, the availability of which depends on, among other things, our complying with the covenants in the ABL Facility.
We cannot assure you that our business will generate cash flow from operations, or that we will be able to draw under the ABL Facility or otherwise, in an amount sufficient to fund our liquidity needs, including the payment of principal and interest on the Notes.
If our cash flows and capital resources are insufficient to service our indebtedness, we may be forced to reduce or delay capital expenditures, sell assets, seek additional capital or restructure or refinance our indebtedness, including the Notes. These alternative measures may not be successful and may not permit us to meet our scheduled debt service obligations. Our ability to restructure or refinance our debt will depend on the condition of the capital markets and our financial condition at such time. Any refinancing of our debt could be at higher interest rates and may require us to comply with more onerous covenants, which could further restrict our business operations. In addition, the terms of existing or future debt agreements, including the ABL Facility and the Indenture, may restrict us from adopting some of these alternatives. In the absence of such operating results and resources, we could face substantial liquidity problems and might be required to dispose of material assets or operations to meet our debt service and other obligations. We may not be able to consummate those dispositions for fair market value or at all. Furthermore, any proceeds that we could realize from any such dispositions may not be adequate to meet our debt service obligations then due. Our inability to generate sufficient cash flow to satisfy our debt obligations, or to refinance our indebtedness on commercially reasonable terms or at all, could result in a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and could negatively impact our ability to satisfy our obligations under the Notes.
If we cannot make scheduled payments on our indebtedness, we will be in default, and holders of the Notes could declare all outstanding principal and interest to be due and payable, the lenders under the ABL Facility could terminate their commitments to loan money, our secured lenders (including the lenders under the ABL Facility and the holders of the Notes) could foreclose against the assets securing their loans and the Notes and we could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation.
Despite our current indebtedness levels, we may still be able to incur substantially more debt, including secured indebtedness.
As of December 31, 2023, we had approximately $173.2 million of total debt outstanding (consisting of $156.5 million of Notes, net of $3.5 million in unamortized debt discount and debt issuance costs, and $20.2 million of financing lease obligations). Despite our current indebtedness, we may be able to incur substantial additional debt in the future, including secured indebtedness. As of December 31, 2023, the Company had no amounts drawn under the ABL Facility and there were $8.7 million of letters of credit issued and outstanding under the ABL Facility. At December 31, 2023, the Company had $107.4 million of availability under the ABL Facility (calculated net of $8.7 million of letters of credit issued and outstanding at such time). Although covenants under the Indenture and the ABL Facility will limit our ability to incur additional indebtedness, these restrictions are subject to a number of qualifications and exceptions and, under certain circumstances, debt incurred in compliance with these restrictions could be substantial. Further, subsidiaries that we designate as unrestricted subsidiaries can incur unlimited additional indebtedness that is structurally senior to the Notes. In addition, the Indenture and the ABL Facility will not limit us from incurring obligations that do not constitute indebtedness as defined therein.
If we incur any additional indebtedness secured by liens that rank equally with those securing the Notes, including any additional notes or term loan facilities, the holders of that indebtedness will be entitled to share ratably with the holders in any proceeds distributed in connection with any insolvency, liquidation, reorganization, dissolution or other winding-up of our company. If new debt is added to our current debt levels, the related risks that we and our subsidiaries now face could intensify. Additionally, we may recapitalize, incur additional indebtedness and take a number of other actions that could have the effect of diminishing our ability to make payments on the Notes when due.
Our debt agreements contain restrictions that will limit our flexibility in operating our business.
The ABL Facility and the Indenture contain, and any other existing or future indebtedness of ours would likely contain, a number of covenants that will impose significant operating and financial restrictions on us, including restrictions on our and our subsidiaries' ability to, among other things:
incur additional debt, guarantee indebtedness or issue certain preferred shares;
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pay dividends on or make distributions in respect of, or repurchase or redeem, our capital stock or make other restricted payments;
prepay, redeem or repurchase subordinated debt;
make loans or certain investments;
sell certain assets;
grant or assume liens;
consolidate, merge, sell or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of our assets;
enter into certain transactions with our affiliates;
alter the businesses we conduct;
enter into agreements restricting our subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends; and
designate our subsidiaries as unrestricted subsidiaries.
As a result of these covenants, we will be limited in the manner in which we conduct our business, and we may be unable to engage in favorable business activities or finance future operations or capital needs.
In addition, our ABL Facility requires us to maintain a minimum fixed charge coverage ratio at any time when the average availability is less than a certain amount at such time. In that event, we must satisfy a minimum fixed charge ratio of 1.0 to 1.0.
A failure to comply with the covenants under the ABL Facility or any of our other future indebtedness could result in an event of default, which, if not cured or waived, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In the event of any such event of default, the lenders thereunder:
will not be required to lend any additional amounts to us;
could elect to declare all borrowings outstanding, together with accrued and unpaid interest and fees, to be due and payable and terminate all commitments to extend further credit;
could require us to apply all of our available cash to repay these borrowings; or
could effectively prevent us from making debt service payments on the Notes (due to a cash sweep feature).
Such actions by the lenders under the ABL Facility could also cause cross defaults under our other indebtedness. If we were unable to repay those amounts, the lenders under the ABL Facility could proceed against the collateral granted to them to secure the ABL Facility. If any of our outstanding indebtedness under the ABL Facility or our other indebtedness, including the Notes, were to be accelerated, there can be no assurance that our assets would be sufficient to repay such indebtedness in full.
The need to maintain capacity for required letters of credit could limit our ability to provide financial assurance for self-insured obligations and negatively impact our ability to fund future working capital, capital expenditure or other general corporate requirements.

Our ABL Facility includes, among other things, provisions that provide for the issuance of letters of credit. Obligations secured by letters of credit may increase in the future. If we do not maintain sufficient borrowing capacity under our ABL Facility, we may be unable to provide financial assurance for self-insured obligations and could negatively impact our ability to fund future working capital, capital expenditure or other general corporate requirements.
Our variable rate indebtedness subjects us to interest rate risk, which could cause our debt service obligations to increase.
Borrowings under our ABL Facility are at variable rates of interest and are based upon benchmarks that are subject to potential change or elimination, including as a result of the FCA Announcement, and therefore expose us to interest rate risk. If
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interest rates increase, our debt service obligations on the variable rate indebtedness will increase even though the amount borrowed remains the same, and our net income and cash flows, including cash available for servicing our indebtedness, will correspondingly decrease.
We may be unable to generate sufficient taxable income from future operations, or other circumstances could arise, which may limit or eliminate our ability to utilize our significant federal and state tax NOLs or our deferred tax assets.
In connection with the acquisition of certain assets of Walter Energy consummated on March 31, 2016, we acquired deferred tax assets primarily associated with federal and state NOLs attributable to Walter Energy's write-off of its investment in Walter Energy Canada Holdings, Inc. As of December 31, 2023, we believe we have utilized all of our federal NOLs and federal general business credit carryforwards, subject to the filing of the 2023 federal income tax return.
On February 12, 2021, the Alabama Governor signed into law Alabama House Bill 170, now Act 2021-1 (the “Act”). The Act makes several changes to the state’s business tax structure. Among the provisions of the Act, is the repeal of the so-called corporate income tax “throwback rule.” That rule required all sales originating in Alabama and delivered to a jurisdiction where the seller was not subject to tax, to be included in the seller’s Alabama income tax base. Thus, prior to repeal of the throwback rule, we had to rely on our Alabama NOL carryforwards to shelter taxes imposed under such throwback rule. As a result of the now repealed throwback rule, effective January 1, 2021, all such sales should now be excluded from Alabama taxable income without the need to utilize Alabama NOLs. As a result of the repeal of the throwback rule, we determined that it is not more likely than not that we would have sufficient taxable income to utilize all of our Alabama deferred income tax assets prior to expiration. Therefore, at December 31, 2023, we have a valuation allowance against our state deferred income tax assets of approximately $41.0 million.
Certain factors could change or circumstances could arise that could further limit or eliminate the amount of the available federal and state NOLs to the Company, such as an ownership change, an adjustment by a tax authority or changes in state and federal tax legislation. Also, certain circumstances, including our failing to generate sufficient future taxable income from operations, could limit our ability to fully utilize our deferred tax assets. Under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code"), and similar state laws, a company is generally allowed a deduction for federal and state NOLs against its federal and state taxable income. At December 31, 2023, we had state NOLs of approximately $928.2 million. These state NOLs represent a deferred tax asset of approximately $6.9 million, net of the valuation allowance.
Our federal and state NOLs are subject to adjustment on audit by the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) and state authorities. The IRS has not audited any of the tax returns for any of the years in which the losses giving rise to the federal and state NOLs were generated. Were the IRS to challenge the size or availability of our federal and state NOLs and prevail in such challenge, all or a portion of our federal and state NOLs, or our ability to utilize our federal and state NOLs to offset any future taxable income, may be impaired, which could have a significant negative impact on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
A company’s ability to deduct its federal and state NOLs and utilize certain other available tax attributes can be substantially constrained under the general annual limitation rules of Section 382 of the Code if it undergoes an “ownership change” as defined in Section 382 or if similar provisions of state law apply. We experienced an ownership change in connection with the acquisition of certain assets of Walter Energy and as such, the limitations under Section 382 would generally apply unless an exception to such rule applies. An exception to the limitation rules of Section 382 is applicable to certain companies under the jurisdiction of a bankruptcy court. Due to certain uncertainties as to whether such exception applies to us, we filed a request for a private letter ruling from the IRS on these points.
On September 18, 2017, the IRS issued to us a private letter ruling, which favorably resolved these uncertainties. Based on such private letter ruling, we believe that there is no current limitation under Section 382 on the utilization of our federal NOLs to shield our income from federal taxation and that a similar analysis would be applied to our state NOLs. The private letter ruling was issued based on, among other things, certain facts and assumptions, as well as certain representations, statements and undertakings provided to the IRS by us. If any of these material facts, assumptions, representations, statements or undertakings are, or become, incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete, the private letter ruling may be invalidated and our ability to rely on the conclusions reached therein could be jeopardized.
While we do not believe an ownership change has occurred since April 1, 2016, because the rules under Section 382 are highly complex and actions of our stockholders which are beyond our control or knowledge could impact whether an ownership change has occurred, we cannot give you any assurance that another Section 382 ownership change has not occurred or will not occur in the future. As a result of our qualifying for the aforementioned exception, were we to have undergone a
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subsequent ownership change prior to April 1, 2018, our federal and state NOLs would effectively be reduced to zero. An ownership change after such date would severely limit our ability to utilize our federal and state NOLs and other tax attributes.

Certain transactions, including public offerings by us or our stockholders and redemptions may cause us to undergo an “owner shift” which by itself or when aggregated with other owner shifts that we have undergone or will undergo could cause us to experience an ownership change. Our certificate of incorporation contains transfer restrictions (the “382 Transfer Restrictions”) to minimize the likelihood of an ownership change. See “-Risks Related to the Ownership of Our Common Stock-Our common stock is subject to the 382 Transfer Restrictions under our certificate of incorporation and the Amended Rights Agreement which are intended to prevent a Section 382 “ownership change,” which if not complied with, could result in the forfeiture of such stock and related distributions or substantial dilution of the stock ownership, respectively. Accordingly, this may impact the market price of our common stock and discourage third parties from seeking strategic transactions with us that could be beneficial to our stockholders.” The 382 Transfer Restrictions were originally set to expire in April 2020. Pursuant to the first amendment to the certificate of incorporation approved by the Company’s stockholders at the Company’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders held on April 23, 2019, the Company effected a three-year extension of the 382 Transfer Restrictions until April 19, 2023, which became effective on March 18, 2020 upon the filing of a certificate of amendment setting forth such amendment with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware. Pursuant to the second amendment to the certificate of incorporation approved by the Company's stockholders at the Company's Annual Meeting of Stockholders held on April 26, 2022, the Company effected a further extension of the 382 Transfer Restrictions until April 19, 2026. In addition, on February 14, 2020, we adopted an NOLs rights agreement, which was amended on March 4, 2022 and December 8, 2023 (the “Rights Agreement,” and as amended, the "Amended Rights Agreement"), to supplement the 382 Transfer Restrictions through April 19, 2026 and increase the exercise price, respectively. See “Part II, Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Amended Rights Agreement.” We may engage in transactions or approve waivers of the 382 Transfer Restrictions or the Amended Rights Agreement that may cause an ownership shift. In doing so, we expect to first perform the calculations necessary to confirm that our ability to use our federal and state NOLs and other federal and state income tax attributes will not be affected or otherwise determine that such transactions or waivers are in our best interests. For example, under certain circumstances, the Board may determine it is in our best interest to exempt certain transactions from the operation of the 382 Transfer Restrictions and the Amended Rights Agreement, if such transaction is determined not to be detrimental to the utilization of our federal and state NOLs or otherwise in our best interests. These calculations are complex and reflect certain necessary assumptions. Accordingly, it is possible that we could approve or engage in a transaction involving our common stock that causes an ownership change and impairs the use of our federal and state NOLs and other federal and state income tax attributes. For more information, see “-Risks Related to the Ownership of Our Common Stock-We could engage in or approve transactions involving our common stock that adversely affect significant stockholders and our other stockholders.”
Certain U.S. federal income tax provisions currently available, including coal percentage depletion and foreign-derived intangible income, may be eliminated by future legislation.

From time to time, legislation is proposed that could result in the reduction or elimination of certain U.S. federal income tax provisions currently available to companies engaged in the exploration, development, production and exportation of coal reserves. These proposals have included, but are not limited to: (1) the elimination of current deductions, (2) the repeal of the percentage depletion allowance or deductions under Code Section 250: Foreign-Derived Intangible Income. The passage of these or other similar proposals could increase our taxable income and negatively impact our cash flows and the value of an investment in our common stock.
Risks Related to the Ownership of our Common Stock
The market price of our common stock may fluctuate significantly and investors in our common stock could incur substantial losses.

The market price of our common stock could fluctuate significantly due to a number of factors, including:

our quarterly or annual earnings, or those of other companies in our industry;

actual or anticipated fluctuations in our operating and financial results, including reserve estimates;

changes in accounting standards, policies, guidance, interpretations or principles;

the public reaction to our press releases, our other public announcements and our filings with the SEC;
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announcements by us or our competitors of significant acquisitions, dispositions or innovations;

changes in financial estimates and recommendations by securities analysts following our stock, or the failure of securities analysts to cover our common stock;

changes in earnings estimates by securities analysts or our ability to meet those estimates;

the operating and stock price performance of other comparable companies;

declaration of bankruptcy by any of our customers or competitors;

general economic conditions, overall market fluctuations, and changes in the price of steelmaking coal, steel or other commodities, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on any of the foregoing;

additions or departures of key management personnel;

actions by our stockholders;

the trading volume of our common stock;

sales of our common stock by us or the perception that such sales may occur; and

changes in business, legal or regulatory conditions, or other developments (including the COVID-19 pandemic) affecting participants in, and publicity regarding, the steelmaking coal mining business, the domestic steel industry or any of our significant customers.

In particular, the realization of any of the risks described in these “Risk Factors” could have a material and adverse impact on the market price of our common stock in the future and cause the price of our stock to decline. In addition, the stock market in general has experienced extreme volatility that has often been unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies. These broad market fluctuations may adversely affect the trading price of our common stock, regardless of our actual performance. In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, stockholders have often instituted securities class action litigation against the company. If we were to be involved in a class action lawsuit, it could divert the attention of senior management, and, if adversely determined, have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If securities or industry analysts adversely change their recommendations regarding our stock or if our operating results do not meet their expectations, our stock price could decline.
The trading market for our common stock could be influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts may publish about us or our business. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of our company or fail to publish reports on us regularly, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline. Moreover, if one or more of the analysts who cover our company downgrade our stock or if our operating results do not meet their expectations, our stock price could decline.
The requirements of being a public company, including compliance with the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, require application of significant resources and management attention, and we may be unable to comply with these requirements in a timely or cost-effective manner.
We are responsible for maintaining systems and documentation necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. These activities may divert management’s attention from other business concerns. To maintain and improve our controls and procedures, we must commit significant resources, may be required to hire additional staff and need to continue to provide effective management oversight, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
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The requirements of being a public company, including compliance with the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, and the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, require application of significant resources and management attention, and we may be unable to comply with these requirements in a timely or cost-effective manner.
As a public company, we must comply with laws, regulations and requirements, certain corporate governance provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, related regulations of the SEC and the requirements of the New York Stock Exchange. Complying with these statutes, regulations and requirements occupies a significant amount of time for our Board and management and requires us to incur significant costs. We are required to:
•maintain a comprehensive compliance function;
•comply with rules promulgated by the New York Stock Exchange;
•prepare and distribute periodic public reports in compliance with our obligations under the federal securities laws;
•maintain internal policies; and
•engage outside counsel and accountants in the above activities.
We are responsible for assessing the operating effectiveness of internal controls over financial reporting and we may conclude that our internal controls over financial reporting are ineffective. During the course of the preparation of our financial statements, we evaluate our internal controls to identify and correct deficiencies in our internal controls over financial reporting. If we fail to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls or internal control over financial reporting, including satisfaction of the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, we may not be able to accurately or timely report on our financial results or adequately identify and reduce fraud. As a result, the financial condition of our business could be adversely affected, current and potential future stockholders could lose confidence in us and/or our reported financial results, which may cause a negative effect on the trading price of our common stock. We could also be exposed to litigation or regulatory proceedings, which may be costly or divert management attention. Additionally, our independent registered public accounting firm may issue an adverse report indicating that our internal controls are not effective due to deficiencies in how our controls are documented, designed, operated or reviewed. Efforts to remediate any such deficiencies and otherwise comply with these requirements may strain our resources, and we may be unable to do so in a timely or cost-effective manner.
Any declaration and payment of future dividends to holders of our common stock or stock repurchases will depend on future financial performance and may be limited by restrictive covenants of our ABL Facility and the Indenture, and will be at the sole discretion of the Board and will also depend on many factors.

Our ability to declare future dividends and make future share repurchases will depend on our future financial performance, which in turn depends on the successful implementation of our strategy and on financial, competitive, regulatory, technical and other factors, general economic conditions, demand and selling prices for our products and other factors specific to our industry, many of which are beyond our control. Therefore, our ability to generate cash depends on the performance of our operations and could be limited by decreases in our profitability or increases in costs, regulatory changes, capital expenditures or debt servicing requirements.

In addition, any declaration and payment of future dividends to holders of our common stock may be limited by restrictive covenants of our ABL Facility and the Indenture, and will be at the sole discretion of the Board and will depend on many factors, including our financial condition, earnings, capital requirements, level of indebtedness, borrowing availability under our ABL Facility, statutory and contractual restrictions applying to the payment of dividends and other considerations that the Board deems relevant. The terms of our ABL Facility and the Indenture may restrict our ability to pay cash dividends on our common stock. We are prohibited from paying any cash dividend on our common stock unless we satisfy certain conditions. Furthermore, we are permitted under the terms of our ABL Facility and the Indenture to incur additional indebtedness, the terms of which may severely restrict or prohibit the payment of dividends and the associated debt service may impact our ability to satisfy the conditions for paying dividends under our ABL Facility and the Indenture. The agreements governing our current and future indebtedness may not permit us to pay dividends on our common stock.

Accordingly, the Company cannot make any assurance that future dividends will be paid or future repurchases will be made.

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An investor’s percentage ownership in us may be diluted by future issuances of capital stock or securities or instruments that are convertible into our capital stock, which could reduce its influence over matters on which stockholders vote.

The Board has the authority, without action or vote of our stockholders, to issue all or any part of our authorized but unissued shares of common stock, including shares issuable upon the exercise of options, shares that may be issued to satisfy our obligations under our incentive plans, shares of our authorized but unissued preferred stock and securities and instruments that are convertible into our common stock. Issuances of common stock or voting preferred stock would reduce an investor’s influence over matters on which our stockholders vote and, in the case of issuances of preferred stock, likely would result in its interest in us being subject to the prior rights of holders of that preferred stock.
We may issue preferred stock whose terms could adversely affect the voting power or value of our common stock.
Our certificate of incorporation authorizes us to issue, without the approval of our stockholders, one or more classes or series of preferred stock having such designations, preferences, limitations and relative rights, including preferences over our common stock respecting dividends and distributions, as the Board may determine. The terms of one or more classes or series of preferred stock could adversely impact the voting power or value of our common stock. In addition, the issuance of such preferred stock could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us. For example, we might grant holders of preferred stock the right to elect some number of our directors in all events or on the happening of specified events or the right to veto specified transactions. Similarly, the repurchase or redemption rights or liquidation preferences we might assign to holders of preferred stock could affect the residual value of the common stock. On February 14, 2020, the Company entered into the Rights Agreement, which was amended on March 4, 2022 to extend the expiration date to April 19, 2026 and increase the exercise price to $56.00 and on December 8, 2023 to increase the exercise price to $159.00. In connection with the adoption of the Rights Agreement, the Board approved a certificate of designations of Series A Junior Participating Preferred Stock (as defined below) designating 140,000 shares of preferred stock, which was filed on February 14, 2020 with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware and became effective on such date. See “Part II, Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Designation of Series A Junior Participating Preferred Stock.”
Our common stock is subject to the 382 Transfer Restrictions under our certificate of incorporation and the Amended Rights Agreement which are intended to prevent a Section 382 “ownership change,” which if not complied with, could result in the forfeiture of such stock and related dividends or substantial dilution of the stock ownership, respectively. Accordingly, this may impact the market price of our common stock and discourage third parties from seeking strategic transactions with us that could be beneficial to our stockholders.
Our certificate of incorporation contains certain transfer restrictions on our shares, which we refer to as the “382 Transfer Restrictions.” The 382 Transfer Restrictions are intended to prevent the likelihood that we will be deemed to have an “ownership change” within the meaning of Section 382 of the Code that could limit or eliminate our ability to utilize significant federal and state NOLs and other federal and state income tax attributes under and in accordance with the Code and regulations promulgated by the IRS and similar state rules. In 2022, the 382 Transfer Restrictions were amended to expire on April 19, 2026.
In particular, without the approval of the Board, no person or group of persons treated as a single entity under Treasury Regulation Section 1.382-3 will be permitted to acquire, whether directly, indirectly or constructively, and whether in one transaction or a series of related transactions, any of our common stock or any other instrument treated as stock for purposes of Section 382, to the extent that after giving effect to such purported acquisition (a) the purported acquirer, or any other person by reason of the purported acquirer’s acquisition, would become a Substantial Holder (as defined below), or (b) the percentage of ownership of our common stock by a person that, prior to giving effect to the purported acquisition, is already a Substantial Holder would be increased. A “Substantial Holder” is a person that owns (as determined for purposes of Section 382 of the Code) at least 4.99% of the total value of our common stock, including any instrument treated as stock for purposes of Section 382 of the Code.
Furthermore, under our certificate of incorporation, the Board has the sole power to determine compliance with the 382 Transfer Restrictions and we cannot assure you that the Board will concur with any conclusions reached by any holder of our securities or their respective advisors, and/or approve or ratify any proposed acquisitions of our securities. The Board has established procedures to consider requests and if the Board determines that a Prohibited Transfer (as defined in our certificate of incorporation) has occurred, such Prohibited Transfer shall, to the fullest extent permitted by law, be void ab initio and have no legal effect, and upon written demand by us, the Purported Transferee (as defined in the certificate of incorporation) shall disgorge or cause to be disgorged our securities, together with any dividends or distributions received, with respect to such securities.
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On February 14, 2020, we adopted the Rights Agreement, which was amended on March 4, 2022 to extend the expiration date to April 19, 2026 and increase the exercise price to $56.00 and on December 8, 2023 to increase the exercise price to $159.00, to supplement the 382 Transfer Restrictions. In general terms, the Amended Rights Agreement works by imposing a significant penalty upon any person or group that acquires 4.99% or more of the outstanding common stock or any existing stockholder who currently owns 5.00% or more of the common stock that acquires any additional shares of common stock (such person, group or existing stockholder, an "Acquiring Person") without the approval of the Board. Under the Amended Rights Agreement, from and after February 28, 2020, each share of our common stock carries with it one preferred share purchase right until the earlier of the date when the preferred share purchase rights become exercisable or expire. The Amended Rights Agreement also gives discretion to the Board to determine that someone is an Acquiring Person even if they do not own 4.99% or more of the outstanding common stock but do own 4.99% or more in value of the Company’s outstanding stock, as determined pursuant to Section 382 of the Code and the regulations promulgated thereunder. In addition, the Board has established procedures to consider and approve requests to exempt certain acquisitions of the Company’s securities from the Amended Rights Agreement if the Board determines that doing so would not limit or impair the availability of the federal and state NOLs or is otherwise in the best interests of the Company and conditioned upon and subject to the satisfaction of certain continuing factual representations and covenants. See "Part II, Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Amended Rights Agreement."

The 382 Transfer Restrictions and the Amended Rights Agreement may make our stock less attractive to large institutional holders and limit the price that investors might be willing to pay for shares of our common stock and otherwise have an adverse impact on the market for our common stock. In addition, these restrictions could discourage a third party from proposing a change of control or other strategic transaction concerning the Company or otherwise have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control of the Company that other stockholders may view as beneficial. Because of the complexity of applying Section 382, and because the determination of ownership for purposes of Section 382 does not correspond to SEC beneficial ownership reporting on Schedules 13D and 13G, stockholders and potential acquirers of our securities should consult with their legal and tax advisors prior to making any acquisition of our securities that could implicate the 382 Transfer Restrictions.

We could engage in or approve transactions involving our common stock that adversely affect significant stockholders and our other stockholders.

Under the 382 Transfer Restrictions that are contained in our certificate of incorporation and the Amended Rights Agreement, our 4.99% stockholders will effectively be required to seek the approval of, or a determination by, the Board before they engage in certain transactions involving our common stock. Furthermore, we could engage in or approve transactions involving our common stock that limit our ability to approve future transactions involving our common stock by our 4.99% stockholders without impairing the use of our federal or state income tax attributes. In addition, we could engage in or approve transactions involving our common stock that cause stockholders owning less than 4.99% to become 4.99% stockholders, resulting in those stockholders’ having to either disgorge our securities, and any dividends or distributions related to such securities, in accordance with the 382 Transfer Restrictions or seek the approval of, or a determination by, the Board before they could engage in certain future transactions involving our common stock.
Provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and Delaware law, as well as the Amended Rights Agreement, make it more difficult to effect a change in control of the Company, which could adversely affect the price of our common stock.
The existence of some provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and Delaware corporate law, as well as the Amended Rights Agreement, could delay or prevent a change in control of our company, even if that change would be beneficial to our stockholders. Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws contain provisions that may make acquiring control of our company difficult, including:
the Board's ability to issue, from time to time, one or more series of preferred stock and, with respect to each such series, to fix the terms thereof by resolution;
provisions relating to the appointment of directors upon an increase in the number of directors or vacancy on the Board;
provisions requiring stockholders to hold at least a majority of our outstanding common stock in the aggregate to request special meetings;
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provisions that restrict transfers of our stock (including any other instruments treated as stock for purposes of Section 382) that could limit our ability to utilize federal and state NOLs;
provisions that provide that the doctrine of “corporate opportunity” will not apply with respect to the Company, to any of our stockholders or directors, other than any stockholder or director that is an employee, consultant or officer of ours; and
provisions that set forth advance notice procedures for stockholders’ nominations of directors and proposals for consideration at meetings of stockholders.
In addition, we have elected to opt out of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law ("DGCL"), which, subject to some exceptions, prohibits business combinations between a Delaware corporation and an interested stockholder, which is generally defined as a stockholder who becomes a beneficial owner of 15% or more of a Delaware corporation’s voting stock for a three-year period following the date that the stockholder became an interested stockholder.
 These provisions also could discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult for you and other stockholders to elect directors and take other corporate actions. As a result, these provisions could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us, even if doing so would benefit our stockholders, which may limit the price that investors are willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock.
The related party transactions and corporate opportunities provisions in our certificate of incorporation permit us to enter into transactions in which one or more of our directors or officers may be a party to or may be interested in and could enable our non-employee directors or stockholders and their affiliates to benefit from corporate opportunities that might otherwise be available to us.
Subject to the limitations of applicable law, our certificate of incorporation, among other things:
permits us to enter into contracts and transactions in which one or more of our officers or directors may be a party to or may be financially or otherwise interested in so long as such contract or transaction is approved by the Board in accordance with the DGCL;
permits any of our stockholders or non-employee directors and their affiliates to engage in a corporate opportunity in the same or similar business activities or lines of business in which we engage or propose to engage, compete with us and to make investments in any kind of property in which we may make investments and will not be deemed to have (i) acted in a manner inconsistent with his or her fiduciary or other duties to us regarding the opportunity, (ii) acted in bad faith or in a manner inconsistent with our best interests or (iii) be liable to us or our stockholders for breach of any fiduciary duty by reason of the fact that they have engaged in such activities; and
provides that if any of our stockholders, non-employee directors or their affiliates acquire knowledge of a potential business opportunity, transaction or other matter (other than one expressly offered to any non-employee director in writing solely in his or her capacity as our director ), such stockholder, non-employee director or affiliate will have no duty to communicate or offer that opportunity to us, and will be permitted to pursue or acquire such opportunity or offer that opportunity to another person and will not be deemed to have (i) acted in a manner inconsistent with his or her fiduciary or other duties to us regarding the opportunity, (ii) acted in bad faith or in a manner inconsistent with our best interests or (iii) be liable to us or our stockholders for breach of any fiduciary duty by reason of the fact that they have pursued or acquired such opportunity or offered the opportunity to another person.
Our stockholders or their affiliates, or our non-employee directors, may become aware, from time to time, of certain business opportunities (such as acquisition opportunities) and may direct such opportunities to other businesses in which they have invested, in which case we may not become aware of or otherwise have the ability to pursue such opportunity. Further, such businesses may choose to compete with us for these opportunities, possibly causing these opportunities to not be available to us or causing them to be more expensive for us to pursue. As a result, our renouncing our interest and expectancy in any business opportunity that may be from time to time presented to our stockholders and their affiliates, or our non-employee directors, could adversely impact our business or prospects if attractive business opportunities are procured by such parties for their own benefit rather than for ours.


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Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
None.

Item 1C. Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity Risk Management and Strategy
We recognize the importance of assessing, identifying, and managing material risks associated with cybersecurity threats, as such term is defined in Item 106(a) of Regulation S-K. These risks include, among other things, operational risks; intellectual property theft; fraud; extortion; harm to employees or customers; violation of privacy or security laws; other litigation and legal risk; and reputational risks. We have in place and continuously monitor and improve cybersecurity processes, technologies, and controls to aid in our efforts to assess, identify, and manage such material risks. We continue to make investments in people, processes and technology to enhance our cybersecurity risk assessment, identification and management capabilities and to strengthen our cybersecurity risk response posture. Additionally, as part of the Company's Information Technology controls framework, management has established a suite of preventative and detective controls which enhance and strengthen the Company's cybersecurity program.
We rely on information systems and networks as well as various other technologies to conduct and support our business. We have implemented security protocols, controls, and systems with the intent of maintaining the physical and electronic security of our operations and protecting our and our counterparties’ confidential information and information related to identifiable individuals against unauthorized access. Some of these systems and networks are managed, hosted, and provided by third parties, and as a result, are also sources of cybersecurity risk. Third party cybersecurity incidents could affect a provider's ability to deliver a product or service to the Company or result in lost or compromised information of the Company or its customers. We have implemented measures intended to secure our information systems and networks and prevent unauthorized access to or loss of sensitive data. Where third parties house financially significant or sensitive data, the Company obtains and reviews attest reports covering cyber-related controls at these third parties, designs and implements complementary user entity controls, maintains open lines of communication for cyber incident notifications, and has contractual safeguards in place in the event a cyber incident occurs.
We evaluate cybersecurity risk independently, and we have integrated cybersecurity risk into the Company’s overall Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”) process. The IT function is responsible for cybersecurity risk and reports to our Chief Administrative Officer. The Chief Financial Officer and the Director of Treasury and Risk Management are responsible for our ERM process, which is performed annually and updated throughout the year and involves a cross-functional group of management, including our Director of IT who has over 20 years of information technology experience. Pursuant to our ERM process, cybersecurity risk is evaluated based on likelihood, severity, speed of onset and persistence (the duration of time during which the organization could be impacted). The Company also leverages third parties, where needed, in connection with cybersecurity risk management, strategy and incident response.
In the event that management identifies significant risk exposures with respect to cybersecurity, it will present such exposure to our Audit Committee. Our Cyber Security Incident Response Plan coordinates the activities we take to prepare for, detect, respond to and recover from cybersecurity incidents, which include processes to triage, assess severity for, escalate, contain, investigate, and remediate the incident, as well as to comply with potentially applicable legal obligations and mitigate brand and reputational damage. This would include notifying the appropriate individuals, investigating the incident, evaluating materiality, and responding to the incident. We have in the past and may continue to retain outside legal counsel, where necessary, to guide incident response efforts and perform a confidential and privileged review of the facts and circumstances surrounding suspected or confirmed cybersecurity incidents. If an incident were to occur, the Company may engage other service providers, where needed, to assist with the collection of forensic artifacts and perform additional procedures necessary to resolve and report any material cybersecurity incidents. Although we have cyber insurance and believe that our cybersecurity processes and controls are adequate, cybersecurity risk has increased due to remote access and increased sophistication of cybersecurity adversaries, as well as the increased frequency of malware attacks. As such, technology failures or cybersecurity breaches could still create system disruptions or unauthorized disclosure or alterations of confidential information and disruptions to the systems of our third-party suppliers and providers.
We have been and may be subject to security breaches, which have resulted in and could result in unauthorized access to our facilities or the information that we are trying to protect. When these incidents occur, we have taken appropriate remediation steps and, through investigation, determined that the events or incidents did not have a material effect on our business, results of operations, or financial results. Although we are not aware of any material cybersecurity incidents, because
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of the past cybersecurity threats and what we have learned in responding to those threats, we have enhanced our cybersecurity protection efforts.
We describe whether and how risks from identified cybersecurity threats, including as a result of any previous cybersecurity incidents, have materially affected or are reasonably likely to materially affect us, including our business strategy, results of operations, or financial condition, under the heading “Terrorist attacks and cyber-attacks or other security breaches may negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and cash flows” included as part of our risk factor disclosures at Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which disclosures are incorporated by reference herein.
Cybersecurity Governance
Cybersecurity is an important part of our risk management processes and an area of increasing focus for our Board and management. Though management is responsible for the day-to-day management of risks the Company faces, including cybersecurity risks, the Board, as a whole and through its committees, has the ultimate responsibility for oversight of the Company’s risks and risk management strategy. The company performs assessments to evaluate its cybersecurity risk as it relates to the organization and assets.
The Board has delegated to certain committee’s oversight responsibility for risks that are directly related to each such committee's area of focus. The Audit Committee oversees our major financial risk exposures, including cybersecurity. The Audit Committee receives periodic reports from management regarding cybersecurity and management's assessment of current and future cybersecurity risks. The ERM process, which includes cybersecurity, is performed annually and updates are discussed quarterly, both internally and with the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee communicates the results of the annual process and quarterly updates to the full Board. The Board and committees thereof, including the Audit Committee, regularly receive reports from the Company’s management and the Company’s outside counsel, as appropriate, regarding the risks faced by, or anticipated to be faced by, the Company, including risks from cybersecurity threats. When such reports relating to cybersecurity are delivered to the Audit Committee, the Audit Committee’s review of such reports, and discussions with management, informs the Audit Committee in detail of the material risks facing the Company related to cybersecurity.
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Item 2. Properties
We operate two underground mines based in Alabama, Mine No. 4 and Mine No. 7 and own property in Alabama for the development of the Blue Creek mine. Mine No 4. and Mine No. 7 are deep underground mines with a long history of operations as discussed in further detail below. Mine No. 4, Mine No. 7 and Blue Creek were considered material properties. Our mining operations also consist of other surface steelmaking and thermal coal mines, two of which are currently under lease to third parties and four of which are not operating.
Information concerning our mining properties in this Annual Report on Form 10-K has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of subpart 1300 of Regulation S-K, which first became applicable to us for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. These requirements differ significantly from the previously applicable disclosure requirements of SEC Industry Guide 7. Among other differences, subpart 1300 of Regulation S-K requires us to disclose our mineral resources, in addition to our mineral reserves, as of the end of the most recently completed fiscal year both in the aggregate and for each of our individually material mining properties.
As used in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the terms "mineral resource," "measured mineral resource," "indicated mineral resource," "inferred mineral resource," "mineral reserve," "proven mineral reserve" and "probable mineral reserve" are defined and used in accordance with subpart 1300 of Regulation S-K. Under subpart 1300 of Regulation S-K, mineral resources may not be classified as "mineral reserves" unless the determination has been made by a qualified person that the mineral resources can be the basis of an economically viable project. As such, you are cautioned that, except for that portion of mineral resources classified as mineral reserves, mineral resources do not have demonstrated economic value. Likewise, you are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of measured and indicated mineral resources will ever be converted to mineral reserves.
Technical Report Summary

The information that follows relating to our individually material properties: Mine No. 4, Mine No. 7 and Blue Creek, is derived, for the most part, from, and in some instances is an extract from, the technical report summaries ("TRS") relating to such properties prepared in compliance with Item 601(b)(96) and subpart 1300 of Regulation S-K by Marshall Miller & Associates, Inc.. Portions of the following information are based on assumptions, qualifications and procedures that are not fully described herein. Reference should be made to the full text of the TRSs, incorporated herein by reference and made a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. With regard to Mine No. 7 and Mine No. 4, there have been no material changes in the mineral reserves or mineral resources from the TRSs filed for Mine No. 7 and Mine No. 4 as Exhibits 96.1 and 96.2, respectively, to the Amendment No. 1 on Form 19-K/A to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022 (the “2023 Mine No. 7 and Mine No. 4 TRSs”). The Company is therefore not filing new TRSs for Mine No. 7 and Mine No. 4 in connection with this Annual Report and is incorporating the 2023 Mine No. 7 and Mine No. 4 TRSs herein by reference.
Overview and Highlights
As of December 31, 2023, and under the SEC's new rules governing mineral reserves, specifically subpart 1300 of Regulation S-K under the Modernization of Property Disclosures for Mining Registrants, we had estimated reserves totaling 159.1 million metric tons and estimated mineral resources exclusive of reserves of 39.7 million metric tons. Mine No. 4 and Mine No. 7, our two operating mines, had approximately 82.9 million metric tons of recoverable reserves and our undeveloped
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Blue Creek mine contained 67.6 million metric tons of recoverable reserves and 39.7 million metric tons of in-place mineral resources exclusive of reserves, which total 107.3 million metric tons.
The following map shows the major locations of our mining operations.
 
SEC Location 2022.jpg
     In addition to our underground and surface mines, we utilize a substantial amount of existing infrastructure which includes administration buildings, a central supply maintenance shop, a central supply warehouse, a training center, a central lab for coal quality testing, and a barge loading facility.
Our operations are located in Tuscaloosa County in central Alabama and our headquarters is in the town of Brookwood, Alabama. The nearest major population centers are Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Birmingham, Alabama. Infrastructure in the areas surrounding our operations are very diverse, well established and robust due to the large populations and current industrial activity in the surrounding metropolitan areas of Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. An international airport is located approximately 30 miles to the east of our operations. Access to all of our properties is via well maintained, paved, two-lane public roads with interstate access in close proximity. All of the primary infrastructure that our operations need to operate (power, water, transportation/roads) is available with reasonable access requirements. All of our operations receive power provided by Alabama Power Company. Our operations also are well serviced by major mining equipment manufacturers,
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rebuild facilities, and mine supply vendors. Specialized mining service providers including slope, shaft, and preparation plant construction companies are located in the immediate area.
The following table provides the production (in thousands of metric tons) for our operating mines for each of the three years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021:
 
 
Production
Location/Mine 
202320222021
Alabama:    
Warrior Met Coal Mining, LLC    
No. 42,272 1,415 736 
No. 74,664 4,314 4,349 
   
Total Alabama6,936 5,729 5,085 
     
All mining operations are subject to federal and state laws and must obtain permits to operate mines, coal preparation and related facilities, haul roads, and other incidental surface disturbances necessary for mining to occur. Permits generally require that the permittee post a performance bond in an amount established by the regulatory program to provide assurance that any disturbance or liability created during mining operations is properly restored to an approved post-mining land use and that all regulations and requirements of the permits are fully satisfied before the bond is returned to the permittee. Significant penalties exist for any permittee who fails to meet the obligations of the permits including cessation of mining operations, which can lead to potential forfeiture of the bond. We have obtained all mining and discharge permits to operate our mines and processing loadout or related facilities. As of December 31, 2023, we had outstanding surety bonds with parties for post-mining reclamation at all of our mining operations totaling $44.3 million and $5.2 million for miscellaneous purposes.
A substantial amount of the coal that the Company mines is produced from mineral reserves leased from third-party landowners. These leases convey mining rights to the Company in exchange for royalties to be paid to the landowner as either a fixed amount per ton or as a percentage of the sales price. Although coal leases have varying renewal terms and conditions, they generally last for the economic life of the reserves. Coal royalty expense was $120.5 million, $138.9 million, and $65.4 million, for the years ended December 31, 2023, December 31, 2022, and December 31, 2021, respectively.

The following table provides the location and quality of our proven and probable mineral reserves as of December 31, 2023.
Summary of Mineral Reserves as of December 31, 2023(1)
(in millions of metric tons)(2)
 
 
Mineral Reserves(3)(5)
Quality (Dry Basis)
Location/Mine 
Status of Operation(4)
Proven(3)
Probable(3)
Reserves(3)
Owned
Leased
% Ash
% Sulfur
% VM
Alabama:  
No. 4Production36.0 0.5 36.5 — 36.5 10.2 30 
No. 7Production34.1 12.3 46.4 0.3 46.110.2 0.7 22 
Blue Creek(6) 
Development43.3 24.3 67.6 11.349.210.0 0.7 32 
Other(7)
Various8.6 — 8.6 6.9 1.7 3.2 - 23.50.7 - 6.01N/A
 
Total 122.0 37.1 159.1 18.5 133.5 
 
Total Warrior Met Coal122.0 37.1 159.1 18.5 133.5 
   
 
(1)    The price used and the time frame and point of reference used is discussed in the description of each mine below.
(2) 1 metric ton is equivalent to 1.102311 short tons.
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(3)    Reserves are further categorized as Proven and Probable as defined by subpart 1300 of Regulation S-K under the Modernization of Property Disclosures for Mining Registrants. Proven reserves are reserves for which (a) quantity is computed from dimensions revealed in outcrops, trenches, workings or drill holes; grade and/or quality are computed from the results of detailed sampling and (b) the sites of inspection, sampling and measurement are spaced so closely and the geologic character is so well defined that size, shape, depth and mineral content of reserves are well-established. Probable reserves are reserves for which quantity and grade and/or quality are computed from information similar to that used for proven reserves, but the sites for inspection, sampling and measurement are farther apart or are otherwise less adequately spaced. The degree of assurance, although lower than for proven reserves, is high enough to assume continuity between points of observation. The range of steelmaking coal sales prices used to assess our Mine No. 4 reserves were based on 98 percent of the average of premium low-vol and mid-vol forecast through 2030 and was held constant beyond that date and varies between $152 to $187 per metric ton. The range of steelmaking coal sales prices used to assess our Mine No. 7 reserves were based on 98 percent of the premium low-vol forecast through 2030 and was held constant beyond that date and varies between $156 to $191 per metric ton. The range of steelmaking coal sales prices used to assess our Blue Creek reserves were based on the IHS High Volatile A price forecast through 2030 and was held constant beyond that date and varies between $172 to $206 per metric ton. The categories for proven and probable coal reserves are based on distances from valid points of measurement as determined by the qualified person for the area under consideration. Measured resources, which may convert to proven reserves, is based on a 0.25 mile radius from a valid point of observation. The distance between 0.25 and 0.75 of a mile radius was selected to define indicated resources. Inferred resources are commonly assumed to be located between 0.75 miles and 3 miles from a point of observation. The mineral reserves were estimated within an accuracy threshold of plus or minus 15 percent.
(4)    The “Status of Operation” for each mine is classified as follows: Development - an established commercially mineable deposit (reserves) is being prepared for extraction but that is not yet in production. Production - the mine is actively operating. Various - consists of idle mines and mines that are actively operating under third party leases.
(5) See a description of the material mineral reserve estimates for each mine below. Coal reserve tons were estimated at a 10% moisture and represent the saleable product from the property. Our mineral reserves are controlled either through direct ownership of the property or through third-party leases. Third-party leases have initial terms extending up to 30 years and generally provide for terms or renewals through the anticipated life of the associated mine. These renewals are conditioned upon the payment of minimum royalties. Under current mining plans, Mine No. 4 and Mine No. 7 will be mined out within the period of existing leases or within the time period of probable lease renewal periods. All mineral reserves reported are either 100% owned or controlled through lease agreements.
(6)    Total Blue Creek Mine reserve tonnage includes: 11.3 million owned, 49.2 million leased, and an additional 7.1 million with option to mine.
(7)    Our other mines consist of other surface steelmaking and thermal coal mines, two of which are currently under lease to third parties and four of which are not operating. The proven and probable mineral reserves for these properties were prepared by McGehee Engineering Corporation.
The following table provides the location and quality of our measured, indicated and inferred mineral resources, exclusive of reserves, as of December 31, 2023.
Summary of Mineral Resources Exclusive of Reserves as of December 31, 2023(1)
(in millions of metric tons)(2)
 
 
Demonstrated Coal Resources (in-place)
Quality (Dry Basis)
Location/Mine 
Status of Operation(3)
Measured
Indicated
Measured + Indicated
Inferred
% Ash
% Sulfur
% VM
Alabama:  
Blue Creek Development— 39.7 39.7 — 18.8 1.4 31 
Total Alabama— 39.7 39.7 — 
Total Warrior Met Coal 39.7 39.7  
   
(1)    The price used and the time frame and point of reference used is discussed in the description of Blue Creek below.
(2) 1 metric ton is equivalent to 1.102311 short tons.
(3) The “Status of Operation” for each mine is classified as follows: Development - an established commercially mineable deposit (reserves) is being prepared for extraction but that is not yet in production.
Material Mining Properties
The information that follows relating to our individually material properties: Mine No. 4, Mine No. 7 and Blue Creek, is derived, for the most part, from, and in some instances is an extract from, the TRS relating to such properties prepared in compliance with Item 601(b)(96) and subpart 1300 of Regulation S-K by Marshall Miller and Associates, Inc.. Portions of the
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following information are based on assumptions, qualifications and procedures that are not fully described herein. Reference should be made to the full text of the TRSs, incorporated herein by reference and made a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The following table provides a comparison of our material proven and probable mineral reserves as of December 31, 2023 and December 31, 2022:
Summary of Material Mineral Reserves as of December 31, 2023 as compared to December 31, 2022
(in millions of metric tons)(1)
 
As of December 31,Change
Mine 
20232022
Tons
%
No. 4
Material Reserves(2)
Proven(3)
36.0 38.7 (2.7)(7)%
Probable(3)
0.5 0.5 — — %
Reserves(2)
36.5 39.2 (2.7)(7)%
No. 7
Material Reserves(2)
Proven(3)
34.1 38.4 (4.3)(11)%
Probable(3)
12.3 11.3 1.0 %
Reserves(2)
46.4 49.7 (3.3)(7)%
Blue Creek 
Material Reserves(2)
Proven(3)
43.3 42.8 0.5 %
Probable(3)
24.3 25.4 (1.1)(4)%
Reserves(2)
67.6 68.2 (0.6)(1)%
   
 
(1)    1 metric ton is equivalent to 1.102311 short tons.
(2)    See a description of the material mineral reserve estimates for each mine below. Coal reserve tons were estimated at a 10% moisture and represent the saleable product from the property.
(3)    Reserves are further categorized as Proven and Probable as defined by subpart 1300 of Regulation S-K under the Modernization of Property Disclosures for Mining Registrants. Proven reserves are reserves for which (a) quantity is computed from dimensions revealed in outcrops, trenches, workings or drill holes; grade and/or quality are computed from the results of detailed sampling and (b) the sites of inspection, sampling and measurement are spaced so closely and the geologic character is so well defined that size, shape, depth and mineral content of reserves are well-established. Probable reserves are reserves for which quantity and grade and/or quality are computed from information similar to that used for proven reserves, but the sites for inspection, sampling and measurement are farther apart or are otherwise less adequately spaced. The degree of assurance, although lower than for proven reserves, is high enough to assume continuity between points of observation.
The Mine No. 4 and Mine No. 7 change in proven and probable mineral reserves and quality is primarily attributable to production and incorporation of additional exploration drilling and associated coal quality data. The Blue Creek change in proven and probable mineral reserves is primarily due to results from additional exploration and changes in property control.
The following table provides a comparison of our material mineral resources exclusive of reserves as of December 31, 2023 and December 31, 2022:

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Summary of Material Mineral Resources as of December 31, 2023 as compared to December 31, 2022
(in millions of metric tons)(1)
 
As of December 31,Change
Mine 
20232022
Tons
%
Blue Creek 
Mineral Resources
Measured— — — — %
Indicated39.7 39.2 0.5 %
Measured + Indicated39.7 39.2 0.5 %
   
(1) 1 metric ton is equivalent to 1.102311 short tons.
The Blue Creek change in coal resources exclusive of reserves is primarily due to results from additional exploration and labratory testing.
Mine No. 4
Mine No. 4 was opened by Jim Walter Resources in 1974 and has been in operation since. In 2015, in connection with the chapter 11 filing by Walter Energy, Mine No. 4 was idled. Upon our acquisition of Mine No. 4 in April 2016, the mine began production. The property has been extensively explored as early as 1916 by subsurface drilling efforts carried out by numerous entities, the majority of which were completed prior to our acquisition of the assets including: by Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company, U.S. Steel, The Pittsburgh & Midway Coal Mining Company and Walter Energy, Inc. The majority
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of the drilling was accomplished by means of conventional core hole exploration and air rotary drilling with geophysical logging for coalbed methane wells.
The following shows the current property and facilities layout of Mine No 4.

4 Mine Portal.jpg

Mine No 4 is located at approximately 87°19’32” latitude and 33°19’49”N longitude which is approximately 20 miles east of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and 30 miles southwest of Birmingham, Alabama. Access to Mine No. 4 is by State Route 59 ("Lock 17 Road"), a well maintained, paved, two-lane road with interstate access in close proximity to the south, and a short access road to the main entrance of the mine. All of the facilities are in close proximity to high quality, public roads and lie within 2 miles of each other. On site facilities include an administration building, maintenance shop, preparation plant and a stock yard. Mine No. 4 preparation plant services the mine via a skip system which transports extracted coal from an underground bunker to the surface facility. The Mine No. 4 preparation plant has a capacity to process 1,300 raw metric tons per hour.

Rail transportation for the mine sites is provided by CSX railroad and river transportation is available on the Black Warrior River. The rail line and Black Warrior River serves as the primary means of transportation of coal from the mine.

Mine No. 4 is a longwall operation that uses a longwall shearing machine for the extraction of coal at the production face. A chain conveyor is used to remove coal from the longwall face for discharge onto the conveyor belt which then ultimately delivers the coal to a skip system. Development for the longwall is conducted by the extraction of coal from the production faces using continuous miners and haulage using shuttle cars to a feeder-breaker located at the tail of the section conveyor belt. The feeder-breaker crushes large pieces of coal and rock and regulates coal feed onto the mine conveyor. Other
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supplemental equipment is used in the production, development and maintenance of the mine such as roof-bolting machines, battery scoops, personnel carriers, supply vehicles, belts, high-voltage cables, transformers, etc.

Mine No. 4 has had multiple improvements to the infrastructure by adding new portal facilities in 2019 and 2021. The Mine No. 4 North portal development was completed in 2023. These facilities have helped to decrease travel time to the active sections, as well as improving the safety of the miners by having shafts closer to the main work areas.

Currently the mine operates a single longwall with advanced features that improves horizon control, dust control, and the latest shield technology for partial automation. The mine routinely updates or rebuilds equipment and during this process, adds the latest safety or production features available. Mine No. 4 preparation plant has also routinely been upgraded with the latest technology. This preparation plant runs the most modern circuits, including an ultrafine coal recovery system. The preparation plant has had numerous upgrades since its original construction, which has helped it to continue to capture a higher percentage of coal with each upgrade. Mine No. 4 preparation plant most recently completed a new fine coal recovery system in 2020, to further improve overall plant recovery. The net book value of property, plant and equipment associated with Mine No. 4 as of December 31, 2023, was $213.8 million.

As of the filing of this annual report Mine No. 4 is currently active with three continuous mining sections and one longwall. Mine No. 4, inclusive of depleted mine works and future reserve areas, is composed of approximately 46,000 total acres. Of the 46,000 acres, approximately 7,200 are associated with future mining areas. Future mining areas include approximately 6,100 acres of leased mineral holdings and approximately 1,000 acres of uncontrolled mineral holdings. Our controlled reserves are either through direct ownership of the property or through third-party leases. Third-party leases have initial terms extending up to 30 years and generally provide for terms or renewals through the anticipated life of the associated mine. These renewals are conditioned upon the payment of minimum royalties. Under current mining plans, assigned reserves reported will be mined out within the period of existing leases or within the time period of probable lease renewal periods. All recoverable reserves reported are either 100% owned or controlled through lease agreements. There are no significant title encumbrances to the property.
Mine No. 7

Mine No. 7 was opened by Jim Walter Resources in 1974 and has been in operation since. In connection with the acquisition of certain assets of Walter Energy, we acquired the mineral rights for Mine No. 7 in April 2016. The property has been extensively explored as early as 1916 by subsurface drilling efforts carried out by numerous entities, the majority of which were completed prior to our acquisition of the assets including: U.S. Steel, Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company and Walter Energy, Inc. The majority of the drilling was accomplished by means of conventional core hole exploration and air rotary drilling with geophysical logging for coalbed methane wells.

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The following shows the current property and facilities layout of Mine No 7.
Mine 7 - West - Plant.jpg

Mine 7 is located at approximately 87°14’46” latitude and 33°19’35”N longitude which is approximately 20 miles east of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and 30 miles southwest of Birmingham, Alabama. Access to Mine No. 7 is by Hannah Creek road, a well maintained, paved, two-lane road with interstate access in close proximity to the south via Lock 17 Road. All of the facilities are in close proximity to high quality, public roads. On site facilities include an administration building, maintenance shop, preparation plant and a stock yard. Mine No. 7 preparation plant services the mine via skip system which transports extracted coal from an underground bunker to the surface facility. Mine No. 7 also uses the No. 5 preparation plant via an
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overland conveyor. The Mine No. 7 preparation plant has a capacity to process 1,260 raw metric tons per hour and the Mine No. 5 preparation plant has the capacity to process 900 raw metric tons per hour.
Rail transportation for the mine sites is provided by CSX railroad and river transportation is available on the Black Warrior River. The rail line and Black Warrior River serve as the primary means of transportation of coal from the preparation plants.
Mine No. 7 is a longwall operation that uses a longwall shearing machine for the extraction of coal at the production face. A chain conveyor is used to remove coal from the longwall face for discharge onto the conveyor belt which then ultimately delivers the coal to a skip system. Development for the longwall is conducted by the extraction of coal from the production faces using continuous miners and haulage using shuttle cars to a feeder-breaker located at the tail of the section conveyor belt. The feeder-breaker crushes large pieces of coal and rock and regulates coal feed onto the mine conveyor. Other supplemental equipment is used in the production, development and maintenance of the mine such as roof-bolting machines, battery scoops, personnel carriers, supply vehicles, belts, high-voltage cables, transformers, etc.
Mine No. 7 has had multiple improvements to the infrastructure by adding new portal facilities in 2009 and 2018, among others. These facilities have helped to decrease travel time to the active sections, as well as improving the safety of the miners by having shafts closer to the main work areas. Currently the mine operates two longwalls with advanced features that improve horizon control, face alignment, dust controls, and the latest shield technology for partial automation. The mine routinely updates or rebuilds equipment and during this process, adds the latest safety or production features available.
Mine No. 7 and Mine No. 5 preparation plants also are routinely upgraded with the latest technology. These preparation plants run the most modern circuits, including ultrafine coal recovery systems. Both preparation plants have had numerous upgrades since their construction, which has helped them to continue to capture a higher percentage of coal with each upgrade. Mine No. 7 most recently completed a new fine coal recovery system, with another system also currently under construction, at the same plant, to further improve overall plant recovery. The net book value of property, plant and equipment associated with Mine No. 7 as of December 31, 2023, was $328.1 million.
As of the filing of this annual report Mine No. 7 is currently active with two longwall sections and six continuous mining sections. Mine No. 7, inclusive of depleted mine works and future reserve areas, is composed of approximately 43,000 total acres. Of the 43,000 acres, approximately 10,100 are associated with future mining areas. Future mining areas include approximately 10,000 acres of leased mineral holdings and approximately 100 acres of owned mineral holdings and 300 acres of uncontrolled mineral holdings. Our controlled reserves are either through direct ownership of the property or through third-party leases. Third-party leases have initial terms extending up to 30 years and generally provide for terms or renewals through the anticipated life of the associated mine. These renewals are conditioned upon the payment of minimum royalties. Under current mining plans, assigned reserves reported will be mined out within the period of existing leases or within the time period of probable lease renewal periods. All recoverable reserves reported are either 100% owned or controlled through lease agreements. There are no significant title encumbrances to the property.
Blue Creek
We believe that Blue Creek represents one of the few remaining untapped reserves of premium High Vol A steelmaking coal in the United States and that it has the potential to provide us with meaningful growth. We believe that the combination of a low production cost and the high quality of the High Vol A steelmaking coal mined from Blue Creek, assuming we achieve our expected price realizations, will generate some of the highest steelmaking coal margins in the U.S., generate strong investment returns for us and achieve a rapid payback of our investment across a range of steelmaking coal price environments.
Based on the current schedule, we expect the first development tons from continuous miner units to occur in the third quarter of 2024 with the longwall scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2026. We initially expected to invest approximately $650.0 to $700.0 million over five years to develop Blue Creek. These costs include, among others, costs to construct a preparation plant and coal handling facility, longwall and continuous miner equipment, belts and advancement material, outside facilities and related matters. Beyond the initial investment, additional capital will be required for sustaining production. This includes rebuilds and replacement of equipment, mine development and multiple bleeder, intake and return shafts.
More than a year after the relaunch of the Blue Creek mine development in May 2022, Warrior has initiated important and highly beneficial project scope changes that will require incremental capital expenditures over the life of the project while lowering operating costs, increasing flexibility to manage risks, and making better use of multi-channel transportation methods.
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Most of these scope changes are transportation and logistics-related, with additional amounts related to inflation for these changes only. These scope changes are expected to increase total capital expenditures for the Blue Creek mine by approximately $120 - $130 million over the remainder of the project development period.

While the Company originally planned on a single channel to transport coal from the Blue Creek mine via an overland belt to a third-party owned and operated barge loadout facility, it now plans to build a belt conveyor system to a railroad loadout to transport the majority of the coal. We expect this change to de-risk the single channel to market, lower operating cost and move volumes faster to the port. Warrior will also build and operate a barge loadout itself rather than utilizing a third-party provider. The Company believes that the potential economic benefits associated with these scope changes should provide Warrior with an inherently robust and cost competitive outbound logistics model that will provide additional flexibility to manage alternative transportation methods. The inclusion of the benefits and incremental capital expenditures relating to these specific scope changes did not have a material impact to the project economic metrics of net present value and internal rate of return.

In addition, the Company has experienced inflationary cost increases ranging from 25 to 35 percent in both operating expenses and capital expenditures for its existing mining operations since late 2021. The Company is also experiencing inflationary pressures at Blue Creek, especially in relation to labor, construction materials and certain equipment, that is expected to continue during the remainder of the project development period. As a number of key material contracts are currently being negotiated, and due to uncertainty regarding future inflation rates, the Company is not providing an estimate of the impact of inflation at this time. However, as the Company negotiates and enters into contracts for the larger project components, the Company expects that more information will become available to allow it to provide revised guidance. While cost inflation has impacted the cost of the project, these inflationary pressures are expected to be offset by an inflationary increase in the long-term price assumption for steelmaking coal.

The Blue Creek mine will be a similar operation to our currently active operations, Mine No. 4 and Mine No. 7. The net book value of property, plant and equipment associated with Blue Creek as of December 31, 2023, was $371.9 million.
The mine property is located approximately 87°26’35” latitude and 33°35’21”N longitude. Access to the Blue Creek property is by State Route 69, a well maintained, paved, two-lane road with interstate access in close proximity to both the north and south. The current mine plan allows for three continuous mining sections and a longwall unit to mine simultaneously through the initial stages of mine development. We believe we will have the ability to add a second longwall subsequent to finalization of development. The project includes surface facilities to be constructed at multiple locations in close proximity. Rail transportation for the proposed mine site is a major rail line and river transportation is available on the Black Warrior River.
We currently control approximately 28,200 total acres of mining rights associated with the Blue Creek project, approximately 85% of which is leased from various entities and individuals. We have plans to continue to acquire additional leases, which are primarily from private entities and individuals as well as federally owned coal via the Bureau of Land Management. Our controlled reserves are either through direct ownership of the property or through third-party leases. Third-party leases have initial terms extending up to 30 years and generally provide for terms or renewals through the anticipated life of the associated mine. These renewals are conditioned upon the payment of minimum royalties. Under current mining plans, assigned reserves reported will be mined out within the period of existing leases or within the time period of probable lease renewal periods. All recoverable reserves reported are either 100% owned or controlled through lease agreements. There are no significant title encumbrances to the property.
The Blue Creek property was formerly controlled by Jim Walter Resources, a subsidiary of Walter Energy. Walter Energy acquired the majority of its mineral rights for the Blue Creek property in 2010 through its purchase of Chevron Mining, Inc. In connection with the acquisition of certain assets of Walter Energy, Inc., we acquired the mineral rights for Blue Creek in April 2016. Since the acquisition, we have strategically purchased and leased mineral and surface rights to further assemble the project. The property has been extensively explored as early as 1957 by means of continuous coring and analytic testing, rotary drilling, ongoing drilling associated with coalbed methane production and by downhole geophysical logging methods. The property has been extensively explored by numerous entities, the majority of which were completed prior to our acquisition of the assets including: U.S. Steel, Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company, The Pittsburgh & Midway Coal Mining Company/Chevron and Walter Energy. We have performed ongoing exploration since acquiring the property and the data we have acquired is consistent with that of past drilling activities.
A life of mine plan was used by the TRS in developing the estimate of proven and probable reserves. The mine plan was generated based on previous mine plans, anticipated lease acquisitions, and operational criteria with modifications where necessary due to geologic mapping or other factors. Carlson Mining software was utilized to generate the life of mine plan.
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The range of steelmaking coal sales prices used to assess our reserves were based on IHS High Volatile A price forecast through 2030 and was held constant beyond that date and varies between $143 to $177 per metric ton. The categories for proven and probable coal reserves are based on distances from valid points of measurement as determined by the qualified person for the area under consideration. For the Blue Creek mine estimate, measured resources, which may convert to a proven reserve, is based on a 0.25 mile radius from a valid point of observation. The distance between 0.25 and 0.75 of a mile radius was selected to define indicated resources. Blue Creek mineral reserves were estimated within an accuracy threshold of plus or minus 15 percent.
Internal Controls and Material Assumptions
We maintain an internal staff of engineers and geoscience professionals who worked closely with our independent reserve engineers to ensure the integrity, accuracy and timeliness of the data used to calculate our estimated mineral reserves and resources. Our internal technical team members meet with our independent reserve engineers periodically to discuss the assumptions and methods used in the estimation process. We provide historical information to the independent reserve engineers for our properties, such as ownership interest, production, test data, commodity prices, coal quality and operating and development costs. The estimates of mineral reserves and resources may be materially affected if mining, quality, or infrastructure factors change from those currently anticipated.
These estimates are based on engineering, economic and geologic data, coal ownership information and current and proposed mine plans. Our proven and probable coal reserves are reported as mineral reserves, which is an estimate of tonnage and grade or quality of indicated and measured mineral resources that, in the opinion of the qualified person (as defined in the SEC rules), can be the basis of an economically viable project. More specifically, it is the economically mineable part of a measured or indicated mineral resource, which includes diluting materials and allowances for losses that may occur when the material is mined or extracted. These estimates are periodically updated to reflect past coal production, new drilling information and other geologic or mining data. Acquisitions or dispositions of coal properties will also change these estimates. Changes in mining methods may increase or decrease the recovery basis for a coal seam, as will changes in preparation plant processes.
Our reserve estimates are predicated on engineering, economic, and geological data assembled and analyzed by internal engineers, geologists and finance associates, as well as third-party consultants. We update our reserve estimates annually to reflect past coal production, new drilling information and other geological or mining data, and acquisitions or sales of coal properties.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings
We are involved in various legal proceedings occurring in the ordinary course of business. It is the opinion of management, after consultation with legal counsel, that these matters will not materially affect our consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
The Company is subject to a wide variety of laws and regulations concerning the protection of the environment, both with respect to the construction and operation of its plants, mines and other facilities and with respect to remediating environmental conditions that may exist at its own and other properties. See “Part I, Item 1. Business—Environmental and Regulatory Matters” for additional information. The Company believes that it is in substantial compliance with federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations. The Company accrues for environmental expenses resulting from existing conditions that relate to past operations when the costs are probable and can be reasonably estimated.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
The information concerning mine safety violations and other regulatory matters is filed as Exhibit 95 to this Annual Report pursuant to the requirements of Section 1503(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and Item 104 of Regulation S-K (17 CFR 229.104).

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Part II
Item 5. Market For Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market Information

Our common stock began trading on the NYSE under the symbol “HCC” on April 13, 2017. Before then, there was no public market for our common stock.

Capital Allocation Policy

On May 17, 2017, the Board adopted a policy (the “Capital Allocation Policy”) of paying a quarterly cash dividend. In February 2022, we announced that the Board approved an increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend by 20%, from $0.05 per share to $0.06 per share. In February 2023, we announced that the Board approved an increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend by 17% from $0.06 per share to $0.07 per share. On February 9, 2024, we announced the Board approved an increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend by 14% from $0.07 per share to $0.08 per share and declared a special cash dividend of $0.50 per share. Our strategy continues to be focused on optimizing our capital structure to improve returns to stockholders, through special cash dividends, while allowing flexibility for us to develop our strategic growth project Blue Creek. We intend on returning cash to stockholders in stronger price markets where we are generating significant amounts of cash flow, and less cash to stockholders during weaker markets. We also intend on using stock repurchases when there is no short- or long-term use for additional cash that will deliver meaningful value to stockholders. We have paid a regular quarterly cash dividend every quarter since the Board adopted the Capital Allocation Policy.

The Capital Allocation Policy states the following: In addition to the regular quarterly dividend and to the extent that the Company generates excess cash that is beyond the then current requirements of the business, the Board may consider returning all or a portion of such excess cash to stockholders through a special dividend or implementation of a stock repurchase program. Any future dividends or stock repurchases will be at the discretion of the Board and subject to consideration of a number of factors, including business and market conditions, future financial performance and other strategic investment opportunities. We will also seek to optimize our capital structure to improve returns to stockholders while allowing flexibility for us to pursue very selective strategic growth opportunities that can provide compelling stockholder returns. Our ability to pay dividends on our common stock is limited by covenants in the ABL Facility and the Indenture and may be further restricted by the terms of any future debt or preferred securities. See “Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to the Ownership of our Common Stock—Any declaration and payment of future dividends to holders of our common stock may be limited by restrictive covenants of our ABL Facility and the Indenture, and will be at the sole discretion of the Board and will also depend on many factors” and “Part II, Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Conditions and Results of Operation—Liquidity and Capital Resources—ABL Facility” and “—Senior Secured Notes.”

During the year ended December 31, 2023, we paid $61.1 million of regular quarterly and special cash dividends under the Capital Allocation Policy.

Holders

As of January 17, 2024, we had approximately 362 holders of record of our common stock.

Stock Repurchases
There were no share repurchases of our common stock made during the quarter ended December 31, 2023.
Stock Performance Graph
The performance graph and the information contained in this section is not “soliciting material”, is being “furnished” not “filed” with the SEC and is not to be incorporated by reference into any of our filings under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act whether made before or after the date hereof and irrespective of any general incorporation language contained in such filing.
The following graph shows a comparison from April 13, 2017 (the date our common stock commenced trading on the NYSE) through December 31, 2023 of the cumulative total return for our common stock, the S&P Metals and Mining Index and the Russell 3000 Stock Index. The graph assumes that $100 was invested on April 13, 2017 in our common stock and each index and that all dividends were reinvested.
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Note that historical stock price performance is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.
StockPerformanceGraph2023.jpg
ITEM 6. [Reserved]

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ITEM 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The following discussion and analysis provides a narrative of our results of operations and financial condition for the years ended December 31, 2023 and December 31, 2022. You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with our audited financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report. Some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis or set forth elsewhere in this Annual Report, including information with respect to our plans and strategy for our business and related financing, includes forwardlooking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. As a result of many factors, including those factors set forth in Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors,” our actual results could differ materially from the results described in, or implied by, the forwardlooking statements contained in the following discussion and analysis. Please see Forward-Looking Statements.
For a discussion and analysis of our results of operations and financial condition for the year ended December 31, 2021, please refer to Part II, Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022.
Overview
We are a U.S.-based, environmentally and socially minded supplier to the global steel industry. We are dedicated entirely to mining non-thermal steelmaking coal used as a critical component of steel production by metal manufacturers in Europe, South America and Asia. We are a large-scale, low-cost producer and exporter of premium steelmaking coal, also known as hard coking coal (“HCC”), operating highly efficient longwall operations in our underground mines based in Alabama, Mine No. 4 and Mine No. 7.
As of December 31, 2023, Mine No. 4 and Mine No. 7, our two operating mines, had approximately 82.9 million metric tons of recoverable reserves and our undeveloped Blue Creek mine contained 67.6 million metric tons of recoverable reserves and 39.7 million metric tons of coal resources exclusive of reserves, which total 107.3 million metric tons. As a result of our high-quality coal, our Mine No. 7 steelmaking coal realized price has historically been in line with, or at a slight discount to, the Platts Premium Low Volatility ("LV") Free-On-Board Australian Index (the "S&P Platts Index"). Our Mine No. 4 steelmaking coal transitioned in the second half of the year from a Mid Vol to a High Vol A quality that typically trades at a larger discount to the price of coal from Mine No. 7. We now primarily target the East Coast High Vol A indices price for our Mine No. 4 coal. Our steelmaking coal, mined from the Southern Appalachian portion of the Blue Creek coal seam, is characterized by low sulfur, low-to-medium ash, and Low Vol to High Vol. These qualities make our coal ideally suited as a coking coal for the manufacture of steel.
We sell substantially all of our steelmaking coal production to steel producers. Steelmaking coal, which is converted to coke, is a critical input in the steel production process. Steelmaking coal is both consumed domestically in the countries where it is produced and exported by several of the largest producing countries, such as China, Australia, the United States, Canada and Russia. Therefore, demand for our coal will be highly correlated to conditions in the global steelmaking industry. The steelmaking industry’s demand for steelmaking coal is affected by a number of factors, including the cyclical nature of that industry’s business, technological developments in the steelmaking process and the availability of substitutes for steel such as aluminum, composites and plastics. A significant reduction in the demand for steel products would reduce the demand for steelmaking coal, which would have a material adverse effect upon our business. Similarly, if alternative ingredients are used in substitution for steelmaking coal in the integrated steel mill process, the demand for steelmaking coal would materially decrease, which could also materially adversely affect demand for our steelmaking coal.
Recent Developments
U.S. inflation remains at 3.4%, driven by increased energy and food costs, supply constraints and strong consumer demand. High inflation has been driven by growth in the economy as it bounces back from the novel coronavirus ("COVID-19"), powered in part by low interest rates and government stimulus to counter the pandemic's impact. While we expect inflation to continue to ease in the overall economy during 2024, we have not seen it easing in the coal mining industry and expect that inflation will continue to negatively impact our profitability, as we expect inflation to remain high for steel prices, freight rates, labor and other materials and supplies. Inflation affects, among others, the costs of belt structure, roof bolts, cable, magnetite, rock dust and other supplies, plus labor and parts on equipment repair and rebuilds.
The continued war in Ukraine, the conflict in the Middle East and the global macroeconomic slowdown in the economy created a volatile year for steel demand and for premium steelmaking coal. Seaborne steelmaking coal supply continues to be impacted by production cuts, seasonal rainfall in Australia and impacts from cyclones in Australia. According to WoodMac, for the nine months ended September 30, 2023, seaborne steelmaking coal supply out of Australia was down 6.2% compared to 2022 and 19.2% compared to 2019. During this period of declining supply, demand for premium
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steelmaking coal has increased, led by India and Southeast Asia. We expect that demand in India and Southeast Asia will continue to increase driven by their increased demand for high-quality steel and due to these countries having limited domestic resources. Further, we expect the demand for premium high-quality steelmaking coal to increase as steel producers remain focused on reducing carbon emissions in blast furnaces as well as improving yields and steel quality. Due to the supply constraints described above coupled with the increased demand, we expect premium steelmaking coal price premiums to remain strong in the near term.
Collective Bargaining Agreement

Our CBA contract with the United Mine Workers of America (“UMWA”) expired on April 1, 2021 and the labor union initiated a strike after an agreement on a new contract was not reached. As a result of the strike, we initially idled Mine No. 4 and scaled back operations at Mine No. 7. In the first quarter of 2022, we restarted operations at Mine No. 4. Due to the reduced operations at Mine No. 4 and Mine No. 7, we incurred idle mine expenses of $12.1 million and $33.9 million for the years ended December 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, respectively. These expenses are reported separately in the Statements of Operations and represent expenses incurred while the respective mine was idled or operating below normal capacity, such as electricity, insurance and maintenance labor. We incurred business interruption expenses of approximately $8.3 million, $23.5 million and $21.4 million for the years ended December 31, 2023, December 31, 2022, and December 31, 2021, respectively, which represent non-recurring expenses that were directly attributable to the labor strike for incremental safety and security, labor negotiations and other expenses. These expenses are also presented separately in the Statements of Operations. On February 16, 2023, the labor union representing certain of our hourly employees announced that they were ending the strike and made an unconditional offer to return to work. The return-to-work process for eligible employees who wished to return to work which began in February has been completed. We continue to engage in good faith efforts with the labor union to reach an agreement on a new contract.
Basis of Presentation
The consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report and the other financial information presented and discussed in this management's discussion and analysis includes the accounts of Warrior Met Coal, Inc. and its subsidiaries (the "Company" or "Warrior").
How We Evaluate Our Operations
Our primary business, the mining and exporting of steelmaking coal for the steel industry, is conducted in one business segment: Mining. All other operations and results are reported under the “All Other” category as a reconciling item to consolidated amounts, which includes the business results from our sale of natural gas extracted as a byproduct from our underground coal mines, royalties from our leased properties and the business results related to the Blue Creek mine development. Our natural gas and royalty businesses do not meet the criteria in ASC 280, Segment Reporting, to be considered as operating or reportable segments.
Our management uses a variety of financial and operating metrics to analyze our performance. These metrics are significant factors in assessing our operating results and profitability and include: (i) Segment Adjusted EBITDA; (ii) sales volumes and average selling price, which drive coal sales revenue; (iii) cash cost of sales, a non-GAAP financial measure; and (iv) Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure.
 
 For the years ended December 31,
202320222021
(in thousands)
Segment Adjusted EBITDA$737,723 $996,974 $474,001 
Metric tons sold6,820 5,099 5,699 
Metric tons produced6,936 5,729 5,084 
Average net selling price per metric ton$241.64 $334.89 $180.43 
Cash cost of sales per metric ton$132.60 $138.35 $96.43 
Adjusted EBITDA$698,866 $994,221 $457,008 

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Segment Adjusted EBITDA
We define Segment Adjusted EBITDA as net income adjusted for other revenues, cost of other revenues, depreciation and depletion, selling, general and administrative expenses, business interruption expenses, idle mine expenses, loss on early extinguishment of debt, other (expense) income, net interest (income) expense, income tax expense and certain transactions or adjustments that the CEO, our Chief Operating Decision Maker does not consider for the purposes of making decisions to allocate resources among segments or assessing segment performance. Segment Adjusted EBITDA is used as a supplemental financial measure by management and by external users of our financial statements, such as investors, industry analysts, lenders and ratings agencies, to assess: 
our operating performance as compared to the operating performance of other companies in the coal industry, without regard to financing methods, historical cost basis or capital structure;
the ability of our assets to generate sufficient cash flow to pay distributions;
our ability to incur and service debt and fund capital expenditures; and
the viability of acquisitions and other capital expenditure projects and the returns on investment of various investment opportunities, such as Blue Creek.

Sales Volumes and Average Net Selling Price
We evaluate our operations based on the volume of coal we can safely produce and sell in compliance with regulatory standards, and the prices we receive for our coal. Our sales volume and sales prices are largely dependent upon the terms of our coal sales contracts, for which prices generally are set on daily index averages or a quarterly basis. The volume of coal we sell is also a function of the pricing environment in the international steelmaking coal markets and the amounts of Low Vol and High Vol A coal that we sell. We evaluate the price we receive for our coal based on our average net selling price per metric ton.
Our average net selling price per metric ton represents our coal net sales revenue divided by total metric tons of coal sold. In addition, our average net selling price per metric ton is net of the previously mentioned demurrage and quality specification adjustments.
Cash Cost of Sales
We evaluate our cash cost of sales on a cost per metric ton basis. Cash cost of sales is based on reported cost of sales and includes items such as freight, royalties, manpower, fuel and other similar production and sales cost items, and may be adjusted for other items that, pursuant to GAAP, are classified in the Statements of Operations as costs other than cost of sales, but relate directly to the costs incurred to produce steelmaking coal and sell it free-on-board at the Port of Mobile in Alabama. Our cash cost of sales per metric ton is calculated as cash cost of sales divided by the metric tons sold. Cash cost of sales is used as a supplemental financial measure by management and by external users of our financial statements, such as investors, industry analysts, lenders and ratings agencies, to assess:
our operating performance as compared to the operating performance of other companies in the coal industry, without regard to financing methods, historical cost basis or capital structure; and
the viability of acquisitions and other capital expenditure projects and the returns on investment of various investment opportunities, such as Blue Creek.
We believe that this non-GAAP financial measure provides additional insight into our operating performance, and reflects how management analyzes our operating performance and compares that performance against other companies on a consistent basis for purposes of business decision making by excluding the impact of certain items that management does not believe are indicative of our core operating performance. We believe that cash costs of sales presents a useful measure of our controllable costs and our operational results by including all costs incurred to produce steelmaking coal and sell it free-on-board at the Port of Mobile in Alabama. Period-to-period comparisons of cash cost of sales are intended to help management identify and assess additional trends potentially impacting our Company that may not be shown solely by period-to-period comparisons of cost of sales. Cash cost of sales should not be considered an alternative to cost of sales or any other measure of financial performance or liquidity presented in accordance with GAAP. Cash cost of sales excludes some, but not all, items that
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affect cost of sales, and our presentation may vary from the presentations of other companies. As a result, cash cost of sales as presented below may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies.
The following table presents a reconciliation of cash cost of sales to total cost of sales, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, on a historical basis for each of the periods indicated.
 For the years ended December 31,
202320222021
(in thousands)
Cost of sales$910,269 $710,605 $554,282 
Asset retirement obligation accretion and valuation adjustment(2,109)(1,801)(2,802)
Stock compensation expense(3,841)(3,379)(1,917)
Cash cost of sales$904,319 $705,425 $549,563 
Adjusted EBITDA
We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income before net interest (income) expense, income tax expense, depreciation and depletion, non-cash asset retirement obligation accretion and valuation adjustments, non-cash stock compensation expense, other non-cash accretion and valuation adjustments, non-cash mark-to-market (gain) loss on gas hedges, loss on early extinguishment of debt, business interruption expenses, idle mine expenses and other income and expenses. Adjusted EBITDA is used as a supplemental financial measure by management and by external users of our financial statements, such as investors, industry analysts, lenders and ratings agencies, to assess:
our operating performance as compared to the operating performance of other companies in the coal industry, without regard to financing methods, historical cost basis or capital structure; and
the viability of acquisitions and other capital expenditure projects and the returns on investment of various investment opportunities, such as Blue Creek.
We believe that the presentation of Adjusted EBITDA in this Annual Report provides information useful to investors in assessing our financial condition and results of operations. The GAAP measure most directly comparable to Adjusted EBITDA is net income. Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered an alternative to net income or loss or any other measure of financial performance or liquidity presented in accordance with GAAP. Adjustments exclude some, but not all, items that affect net income and our presentation of Adjusted EBITDA may vary from that presented by other companies.
The following table presents a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net income, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, on a historical basis for each of the periods indicated.
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 For the years ended December 31,
202320222021
(in thousands)
Net income$478,629 $641,298 $150,881 
Interest (income) expense, net(22,739)18,995 $35,389 
Income tax expense $72,790 141,806 49,096 
Depreciation and depletion127,356 115,279 141,418 
Asset retirement obligation accretion and valuation adjustment (1)
4,535 1,941 3,427 
Stock compensation expense (2)
18,300 17,621 9,370 
Other non-cash accretion and valuation adjustments (3)
205 (5,344)1,881 
Non-cash mark-to-market loss on gas hedges (4)
(1,227)27,708 1,595 
Loss on early extinguishment of debt (5)
11,699 — 9,678 
Business interruption (6)
8,291 23,455 21,372 
Idle mine (7)
— 12,137 33,899 
Other (expense) income (8)
1,027 (675)(998)
Adjusted EBITDA$698,866 $994,221 $457,008 

(1)Represents non-cash accretion expense and valuation adjustment associated with our asset retirement obligations (see Note 8 to our consolidated financial statements).
(2)Represents non-cash stock compensation expense associated with equity awards (see Note 12 to our consolidated financial statements).
(3)Represents non-cash accretion expense and valuation adjustments associated with our black lung obligations (see Note 10 to our consolidated financial statements).
(4)Represents non-cash mark-market losses recognized on our gas hedges (see Note 17 to our consolidated financial statements).
(5)Represents a loss incurred in connection with the early extinguishment of debt (see Note 13 to our consolidated financial statements).
(6)Represents business interruption expenses associated with the UMWA strike.
(7)Represents idle mine expenses incurred in connection with reduced operations at Mine No 4 and Mine No. 7.
(8)Represents non-recurring expenses incurred in connection with the ransomware attack discovered by the Company on July 29, 2023, proceeds received upon settlement of a lawsuit, COVID-19 pandemic related expenses and proceeds received upon settlement of a lawsuit and settlement proceeds received for the Shared Services Claim and Hybrid Debt Claim associated with the Walter Canada CCAA and other Walter Claims (each discussed below).

Results of Operations
Year Ended December 31, 2023 and 2022
The following table summarizes certain financial information relating to our operating results that have been derived from our audited financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022.
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For the years ended December 31,
(in thousands)2023% of
Total
Revenues
2022% of
Total
Revenues
Revenues:
Sales$1,647,992 98.3 %$1,707,579 98.2 %
Other revenues28,633 1.7 %31,159 1.8 %
Total revenues1,676,625 100.0 %1,738,738 100.0 %
Costs and expenses:
Cost of sales (exclusive of items shown separately below)910,269 54.3 %710,605 40.9 %
Cost of other revenues (exclusive of items shown separately below)37,486 2.2 %27,047 1.6 %
Depreciation and depletion127,356 7.6 %115,279 6.6 %
Selling, general and administrative51,817 3.1 %48,791 2.8 %
Business interruption8,291 0.5 %23,455 1.3 %
Idle mine— — %12,137 0.7 %
Total costs and expenses1,135,219 67.7 %937,314 53.9 %
Operating income541,406 32.3 %801,424 46.1 %
Interest expense(17,960)(1.1)%(31,433)(1.8)%
Interest income40,699 2.4 %12,438 0.7 %
Loss on early extinguishment of debt(11,699)(0.7)%— — %
Other (expense) income(1,027)(0.1)%675 — %
Income before income tax expense551,419 32.9 %783,104 45.0 %
Income tax expense $72,790 4.3 %141,806 8.2 %
Net income$478,629 28.5 %$641,298 36.9 %
Sales, production and cost of sales components on a per unit basis for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022 were as follows:
 
 For the years ended December 31,
20232022
Steelmaking Coal (metric tons in thousands)
Metric tons sold 6,820 5,099 
Metric tons produced6,936 5,729 
Average net selling price per metric ton$241.64 $334.89 
Cash cost of sales per metric ton$132.60 $138.35 
Cost of production %60 %53 %
Transportation and royalties %40 %47 %

The following list highlights our key accomplishments for the year ended December 31, 2023:
we achieved strong net income of $478.6 million, or $9.20 per diluted share and adjusted EBITDA of $698.9 million;

we achieved annual sales volumes of 6.8 million metric tons, a 34% increase compared to the prior year, and production volume of 6.9 million metric tons, a 21% increase compared to the prior year, which represent run rates not seen since 2020;

we delivered positive cash flows from operations of $701.1 million and free cash flow of $176.3 million while continuing to invest a record high $524.8 million in property, plant and equipment and mine development and retired early approximately 50% of our senior secured notes;
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we maintained a strong balance sheet with total liquidity of $845.6 million, consisting of cash and cash equivalents of $738.2 million and $107.4 million available under our ABL Facility;

we made excellent progress in developing our world class Blue Creek growth project, which remains on schedule and invested $319.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2023;

we achieved a total reportable incidence rate of 1.90, which is 57% lower than the national total reportable incidence rate for all underground coal mines in the United States of 4.39 for the nine months ended September 30, 2023, which represents the latest data available; and

we demonstrated an ongoing commitment to returning capital to our stockholders paying a regular quarterly dividend of $0.07 per share, an increase of approximately 17% compared to the prior year and special dividends of $0.88 per share.
Sales were $1.6 billion for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to $1.7 billion for the year ended December 31, 2022. The $59.6 million decrease in sales was primarily driven by a $635.9 million decrease related to a $93.25 decrease in the average net selling price per metric ton of steelmaking coal offset partially by a $576.3 million increase due to a 34% or 1.7 million metric ton increase in steelmaking coal sales volume. The 34% increase in sales volumes was driven by increased production due to both Mine No. 4 and Mine No. 7 operating at higher capacity levels combined with improved performance by our rail transportation provider and the McDuffie Terminal. While we continued to achieve some of the highest prices for our premium Mine No. 7 Low Vol steelmaking coal, our Mine No. 4 steelmaking coal transitioned in the second half of the year from Mid Vol to a High Vol A quality that typically trades at a larger discount to the price of coal from Mine No. 7.
For the year ended December 31, 2023, the Company's geographic customer mix was 48% in Europe, 29% in Asia, 21% in South America and 2% in the U.S. For the year ended December 31, 2022, the Company's geographic customer mix was 61% in Europe, 20% in Asia and 19% in South America.
Other revenues for the year ended December 31, 2023 were $28.6 million compared to $31.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2022. Other revenues are comprised of revenue derived from our natural gas operations, gains and losses on our natural gas hedges and earned royalty revenue. The $2.5 million decrease in other revenues is primarily driven by a decrease in gas revenues of $26.5 million related to a $4.24 or 60% decrease in the Southern Louisiana natural gas price average partially offset by a $28.9 million loss recognized in the prior year on the fair value adjustment related to our natural gas swap contracts.
Cost of sales (exclusive of items shown separately below) was $910.3 million, or 54.3% of total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to $710.6 million, or 40.9% of total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2022. The $199.7 million increase in cost of sales was primarily driven by a $238.1 million increase due to a 34% or 1.7 million metric ton increase in steelmaking coal sales volumes offset partially by a $39.2 million decrease due to a $5.75 per metric ton decrease in the average cash cost of sales per metric ton. The decrease in average cash cost of sales per metric ton is primarily due to decreased transportation and royalty costs driven by lower average net selling prices and its impact on our transportation and royalty costs partially offset by higher labor costs due to the returning employees from the labor strike.
Cost of other revenues was $37.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to $27.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2022. The $10.4 million increase is primarily due to an increase in gas compression costs, asset retirement obligation accretion expense and a decrease of approximately of $5.2 million in our black lung obligation valuation adjustment benefit recorded annually in the fourth quarter primarily attributable to changes in discount rates and claims history.
Depreciation and depletion was $127.4 million, or 7.6% of total revenues, for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to $115.3 million, or 6.6% of total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2022. The $12.1 million increase in depreciation and depletion is primarily driven by a 34% or 1.7 million metric ton increase in steelmaking coal sales volumes as depreciation and depletion is first capitalized into coal inventory and relieved when the tons are sold.
Selling, general and administrative expenses were $51.8 million, or 3.1% of total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2023 compared to $48.8 million, or 2.8% of total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2022. The $3.0 million increase in selling, general and administrative expenses is primarily driven by an increase in employee related expenses.
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Business interruption expenses were $8.3 million, 0.5% of total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to $23.5 million, or 1.3% of total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2022. These expenses decreased compared to the prior period primarily due to the end of the labor strike in February 2023 and represent non-recurring expenses that are directly attributable to the labor strike for incremental safety and security, legal and labor negotiations and other expenses. We expect to incur ongoing legal expenses associated with the labor negotiations.
Idle mine expenses were $12.1 million, or 0.7% of total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2022. These expenses represent idle expenses incurred in connection with the idling of Mine No. 4 and reduced operations at Mine No. 7, such as electricity, insurance and maintenance labor.
Interest expense was $18.0 million, or 1.1%, of total revenues, for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to $31.4 million, or 1.8% of total revenues, for the year ended December 31, 2022. The $13.5 million decrease is due to the retirement of debt of $162.4 million.
Interest income was $40.7 million, or 2.4% of total revenues, for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to $12.4 million, or 0.7% of total revenues, for the year ended December 31, 2022. The $28.3 million increase was primarily driven by an increase in yields earned on cash investments.
For the year ended December 31, 2023, we recognized a loss on early extinguishment of debt of $11.7 million upon the extinguishment of $146.1 million of our Notes. The loss on early extinguishment of debt represents a premium paid to retire the debt, fees incurred in connection with the transaction, accelerated amortization of debt discount and debt issuance costs.
Other expense for the year ended December 31, 2023 represents non-recurring expenses incurred in connection with the ransomware attack discovered by the Company on July 29, 2023 and proceeds received from the Chapter 11 Cases (as defined below) from Walter Energy, Inc. We do not anticipate any additional material expenses in the future related to this ransomware incident. Other income for the year ended December 31, 2022 represents proceeds received in connection with the settlement of a lawsuit offset partially by COVID-19 pandemic related expenses.
For the year ended December 31, 2023, we recognized income tax expense of $72.8 million or an effective tax rate of 13.2% primarily due to pre-tax income of $551.4 million offset partially by an income tax benefit of $26.1 million due to a deduction under Section 250 of the Code: Foreign-Derived Intangible Income ("FDII") and $21.8 million of depletion. For the year ended December 31, 2022, we recognized income tax expense of $141.8 million or an effective tax rate of 18.1% primarily due to pre-tax income of $783.1 million offset partially by an income tax benefit due to $23.6 million of depletion.
At December 31, 2023, we had state NOLs of approximately $928.2 million. These NOLs represent a deferred tax asset of approximately $6.9 million, net of the valuation allowance. See Note 7 of the Notes to the Financial Statements for more information.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Overview
Our sources of cash have been steelmaking coal and natural gas sales to customers, proceeds received from the Notes (as defined below) and access to our ABL Facility. Historically, our primary uses of cash have been for funding the operations of our coal and natural gas production operations, working capital, our capital expenditures, our reclamation obligations, payment of principal and interest on our Notes, professional fees and other non-recurring transaction expenses. In addition, we used available cash on hand to repurchase shares of common stock and to pay our quarterly and special dividends, each of which reduces or reduced cash and cash equivalents.
Going forward, we will use cash to fund debt service payments on our Notes, the ABL Facility and our other indebtedness, to fund operating activities, working capital, capital expenditures, our reclamation obligations, professional fees and other non-recurring transaction expenses and strategic investments, the development of Blue Creek, and, if declared, to pay our quarterly and/or special dividends. Our ability to fund our capital needs, including the development of Blue Creek, going forward will depend on our ongoing ability to generate cash from operations and borrowing availability under the ABL Facility, and, in the case of any future strategic investments, capital needs, the development of Blue Creek, or special dividends financed partially or wholly with debt financing and our ability to access the capital markets to raise additional capital.
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Our ability to generate positive cash flow from operations in the future will be, at least in part, dependent on continued stable global economic conditions and a resolution of the CBA contract negotiations with the labor union representing certain of our hourly employees.
Our available liquidity as of December 31, 2023 was $845.6 million, consisting of $738.2 million of cash and cash equivalents and $107.4 million, net of outstanding letters of credit, of availability under our ABL Facility. As of December 31, 2023, no loans were outstanding under the ABL Facility and there were $8.7 million of letters of credit issued and outstanding under the ABL Facility.
During the year ended December 31, 2023, we repurchased in the open market and extinguished approximately $8.0 million principal amount of our Notes at a discount to par value. The discounts to par value and the interest expense savings from this open-market purchase is estimated to be approximately $4.0 million through the maturity of our Notes. In connection with the extinguishment of our Notes, we recognized a loss on early extinguishment of debt of $0.1 million which is included in interest income (expense), net in the Statements of Operations. In addition, in the third quarter of 2023, we retired approximately $146.1 million of our Notes and recognized a loss on early extinguishment of debt of $11.7 million, which represents a premium paid to retire the debt, accelerated amortization of debt discount, net, and fees incurred in connection with the transaction.
In the future, we may, at any time and from time to time, seek to retire or purchase additional Notes in open-market purchases, privately negotiated transactions or otherwise. Such repurchases or exchanges, if any, will be upon such terms and at such prices as we may determine, and will depend on prevailing market conditions, our liquidity requirements, contractual restrictions, if any, and other factors.
We are responsible for medical and disability benefits for black lung disease under the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, as amended. Beginning on April 1, 2016 through May 31, 2018, we were insured under a guaranteed cost insurance policy, through a third-party insurance carrier, for black lung claims raised by any employee subsequent to the acquisition of certain assets of Walter Energy. Beginning on June 1, 2018 through May 31, 2020, we had a deductible policy where we are responsible for the first $0.5 million for each black lung claim. Since June 1, 2020, we have a deductible policy where we are responsible for the first $1.0 million for each black lung claim.
In addition, in connection with the acquisition of certain assets of Walter Energy, we assumed all black lung liabilities of Walter Energy and its U.S. subsidiaries incurred prior to March 31, 2016, for which we are self-insured. We have posted $18.6 million in surety bonds and $9.0 million of collateral recognized as short term investments in addition to maintaining a black lung trust of $1.8 million that was acquired from Walter Energy. We received a letter from the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") on February 21, 2020 under its new process for self-insurance renewals that would require us to increase the amount of collateral posted to $39.8 million, but we appealed such increase. We received another letter from the DOL on December 8, 2021 requesting additional information to support our appeal of the collateral requested by the DOL. On February 9, 2022, the DOL held a conference call with representatives from the Company related to our appeal. On July 12, 2022, we received a decision on our appeal from the DOL lowering the amount of collateral required to be posted from $39.8 million to $28 million. We appealed this decision. In addition, on January 19, 2023, the DOL proposed revisions to regulations under the Black Lung Benefits Act governing authorization of self-insurers. The proposed rules requires, among other requirements, all self-insured operators to post security equal to 120 percent of their projected black lung liabilities.
In the ordinary course of our business, we are required to provide surety bonds and letters of credit to provide financial assurance for certain transactions and business activities. Federal and state laws require us to obtain surety bonds or other acceptable security to secure payment of certain long-term obligations including mine closure or reclamation costs and other miscellaneous obligations. As of December 31, 2023, we had outstanding surety bonds and letters of credit with parties for post-mining reclamation at all of our mining operations totaling $44.3 million, $18.6 million as collateral for self-insured black lung related claims and $5.2 million for miscellaneous purposes.
We believe that our future cash flows from operations, together with cash on our balance sheet and proceeds from the borrowings under our ABL Facility, will provide adequate resources to fund our debt service payments and planned operating and capital expenditure needs, including the development of Blue Creek, for at least the next twelve months and beyond. However, we will continue to assess our liquidity needs in light of the ongoing CBA contract negotiations with the labor union representing certain of our hourly employees and the ongoing impact of inflation.
The Company's principal contractual commitments include repayments of long-term debt and related interest, potential minimum throughput payments associated with our rail and port providers, asset retirement obligation payments, black lung obligation payments, payments on various coal and land leases, payments under financing lease obligations and payments
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associated with our natural gas swap contracts. Currently, there are no known trends or expected changes anticipated in future periods that would not be indicative of past results for our contractual commitments.
Refer to the respective notes to the financial statements for further information about our credit facilities and long-term debt (Note 13), commitments and contingencies (Note 15), asset retirement obligations (Note 8), black lung obligations (Note 10), lease payment obligations (Note 14), share repurchase programs (Note 16) and derivative instruments (Note 17).
If our cash flows from operations are less than we require, we may need to incur additional debt or issue additional equity. From time to time, we may need to access the long-term and short-term capital markets to obtain financing. Our access to, and the availability of, financing on acceptable terms and conditions in the future will be affected by many factors, including: (i) our credit ratings, (ii) the liquidity of the overall capital markets, (iii) the current state of the global economy and (iv) restrictions in our ABL Facility, the indenture governing the Notes (the "Indenture"), and any other existing or future debt agreements. There can be no assurance that we will have or continue to have access to the capital markets on terms acceptable to us or at all.
Statements of Cash Flows
Cash balances were $738.2 million, $829.5 million and $395.8 million at December 31, 2023, December 31, 2022, and December 31, 2021, respectively.

The following table sets forth, a summary of the net cash provided by (used in) operating, investing and financing activities for the period (in thousands): 
 For the years ended December 31,
202320222021
Net cash provided by operating activities$701,108 $841,904 $351,543 
Net cash used in investing activities(527,207)(255,144)(71,146)
Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities(265,184)(153,119)(96,474)
Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash$(91,283)$433,641 $183,923 
Operating Activities
Net cash flows from operating activities consist of net income adjusted for noncash items, such as depreciation and depletion of property, plant and equipment and mineral interests, deferred income tax expense, stock-based compensation, amortization of debt issuance costs and debt discount, accretion expense and valuation adjustment associated with our asset retirement obligations, mark-to-market adjustments on gas hedges, loss on early extinguishment of debt and changes in net working capital. The timing between the conversion of our billed and unbilled receivables into cash from our customers, production and sale of coal inventory and disbursements to our vendors is the primary driver of changes in our working capital.
Net cash provided by operating activities was $701.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, and was primarily attributed to net income of $478.6 million adjusted for depreciation and depletion expense of $127.4 million, deferred income tax expense of $52.9 million, stock-based compensation expense of $18.2 million, loss on early extinguishment of debt of $11.7 million, accretion and valuation adjustment of asset retirement obligations of $4.5 million and amortization of debt issuance costs and debt discount of $2.1 million and a decrease in net working capital of $5.7 million. The decrease in our working capital was primarily attributable to a decrease in trade accounts receivable offset partially by an increase in inventories, an increase in accrued expenses and other current liabilities and an increase in income tax receivable. The decrease in trade accounts receivable is due to the timing of sales and collections combined with a $93.25 decrease in our steelmaking coal average net selling price per metric ton offset partially by a 1.7 million increase in steelmaking coal metric tons sold. The increase in inventories is due to an increase in production.
Net cash provided by operating activities was $841.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2022, and was primarily attributed to net income of $641.3 million adjusted for depreciation and depletion expense of $115.3 million, deferred income tax expense of $141.8 million, stock-based compensation expense of $17.6 million, mark-to-market loss on gas hedges of $4.0 million, amortization of debt issuance costs and debt discount of $3.2 million, accretion expense and valuation adjustment of asset retirement obligations of $1.9 million, an increase in other operating activities of $0.8 million and an increase in net
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working capital of $84.0 million. The increase in our working capital was primarily attributable to an increase in inventories and trade accounts receivable offset partially by an increase in accrued expenses and other current liabilities.
Investing Activities
Net cash used in investing activities was $527.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, primarily comprised of $491.7 million of purchases of property, plant and equipment and $33.1 million of capitalized mine development costs associated with our Blue Creek development. We spent approximately $91.7 million in sustaining capital and spent an additional $400.0 million in other discretionary capital, which primarily included capital spent on the development of Blue Creek of $319.1 million, deposits on two extra sets of longwall shields of $50.9 million and capital spent on the bunker at Mine No. 4 of $24.5 million. The current period also includes $2.4 million cash paid to acquire the remaining ownership interest in gas wells owned by an independent third party.
Net cash used in investing activities was $255.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2022, primarily comprised of $205.2 million of purchases of property, plant and equipment and $48.9 million of capitalized mine development costs associated with our Mine No. 4 and Blue Creek development. We spent approximately $87.1 million in sustaining capital and spent an additional $118.1 million in other discretionary capital, which primarily included deposits on two extra sets of longwall shields of $55.3 million and capital spent on the development of Blue Creek of $47.1 million and the portal facilities at Mine No. 4 of $15.7 million. The current period also includes $3.5 million cash payments in connection with the acquisition of leased mineral rights offset partially by $2.5 million net cash acquired in connection with the acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in Black Warrior Methane and Black Warrior Transmission.

Financing Activities
Net cash used in financing activities was $265.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, primarily due to the retirements of debt related to our Notes of $162.4 million, payment of quarterly and special dividends of $61.1 million and principal repayments of financing lease obligations of $32.3 million.
Net cash used in financing activities was $153.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2022, primarily due to the payment of quarterly and special dividends of $79.7 million, retirements of debt related to our Notes of $39.4 million and principal repayments of financing lease obligations of $30.3 million.
Capital Allocation Policy
On May 17, 2017, the Board adopted the Capital Allocation Policy of paying a quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per share. In February 2022, we announced that the Board approved an increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend by 20%, from $0.05 per share to $0.06 per share. In February 2023, we announced that the Board approved an increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend by 17%, from $0.06 per share to $0.07 per share. On February 9, 2024, we announced the Board approved an increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend by 14% from $0.07 per share to $0.08 per share and declared a special cash dividend of $0.50 per share. Our strategy continues to be focused on optimizing our capital structure to improve returns to stockholders, through special cash dividends, while allowing flexibility for us to develop our strategic growth project Blue Creek. We intend on returning cash to stockholders in stronger price markets where we are generating significant amounts of cash flow, and less cash to stockholders during weaker markets. We also intend on using stock repurchases when there is no short- or long-term use for additional cash that will deliver meaningful value to stockholders. We have paid a regular quarterly cash dividend every quarter since the Board adopted the Capital Allocation Policy.
The Capital Allocation Policy states the following: In addition to the regular quarterly dividend and to the extent that the Company generates excess cash that is beyond the then current requirements of the business, the Board may consider returning all or a portion of such excess cash to stockholders through a special dividend or implementation of a stock repurchase program. Any future dividends or stock repurchases will be at the discretion of the Board and subject to consideration of a number of factors, including business and market conditions, future financial performance and other strategic investment opportunities. The Company will also seek to optimize its capital structure to improve returns to stockholders while allowing flexibility for the Company to pursue selective strategic growth opportunities that can provide compelling stockholder returns.
During the year ended December 31, 2023, we have paid $61.1 million of regular quarterly and special cash dividends under the Capital Allocation Policy.

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Stock Repurchase Program

On March 26, 2019, the Board approved the Company's second stock repurchase program (the “New Stock Repurchase Program”) that authorizes repurchases of up to an aggregate of $70.0 million of the Company's outstanding common stock. The Company fully exhausted its previous stock repurchase program (the "First Stock Repurchase Program") of $40.0 million of its outstanding common stock. The New Stock Repurchase Program does not require the Company to repurchase a specific number of shares or have an expiration date. The New Stock Repurchase Program may be suspended or discontinued by the Board at any time without prior notice.

    Under the New Stock Repurchase Program, the Company may repurchase shares of its common stock from time to time, in amounts, at prices and at such times as the Company deems appropriate, subject to market and industry conditions, share price, regulatory requirements and other considerations as determined from time to time by the Company. The Company’s repurchases may be executed using open market purchases or privately negotiated transactions in accordance with applicable securities laws and regulations, including Rule 10b-18 of the Exchange Act and repurchases may be executed pursuant to Rule 10b5-1 under the Exchange Act. Repurchases will be subject to limitations in the ABL Facility and the Indenture. The Company intends to fund repurchases under the New Stock Repurchase Program from cash on hand and/or other sources of liquidity. Any future repurchases of shares of the Company's common stock will be subject to the 1% excise tax under the IRA.
As of December 31, 2022, the Company has repurchased 0.5 million shares for approximately $10.6 million, leaving $59.4 million of share repurchases authorized under the New Stock Repurchase Program.

ABL Facility
On December 6, 2021, we entered into the Second Amended and Restated Asset-Based Revolving Credit Agreement (the “Second Amended and Restated Credit Agreement”), by and among us and certain of our subsidiaries, as borrowers, the guarantors party thereto, the lenders from time to time party thereto and Citibank, as administrative agent (in such capacity, the "Agent"), which amends and restates in its entirety the existing Amended and Restated Asset-Based Revolving Credit Agreement (as amended, the “ABL Facility”). The Second Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, among other things, (i) extended the maturity date of the ABL Facility to December 6, 2026; (ii) changed the calculation of the interest rate payable on borrowings from being based on a London Inter-Bank Offered Rate to be based on a Secured Overnight Financing Rate, with corresponding changes to the applicable interest rate margins with respect to such borrowings, (iii) amended certain definitions related to the calculation of the borrowing base; (iv) increased the commitments that may be used to issue letters of credit to $65.0 million; and (v) amended certain baskets contained in the covenants to conform to the baskets contained in the indenture governing the Notes (the "Indenture"). The Second Amended and Restated Credit Agreement also allows us to borrow up to $116.0 million through November 2026, subject to availability under the borrowing base and other conditions.
Under the ABL Facility, up to $10.0 million of the commitments may be used to incur swingline loans from Citibank and up to $65.0 million of the commitments may be used to issue letters of credit. The ABL Facility will mature on December 6, 2026. As of December 31, 2023, no loans were outstanding under the ABL Facility and there were $8.7 million of letters of credit issued and outstanding under the ABL Facility. At December 31, 2023, the Company had $107.4 million of availability under the ABL Facility.
Revolving loan (and letter of credit) availability under the ABL Facility is subject to a borrowing base, which at any time is equal to the sum of certain eligible billed and unbilled accounts, certain eligible inventory, certain eligible supplies inventory and qualified cash, in each case, subject to specified advance rates. The borrowing base availability is subject to certain reserves, which may be established by the agent in its reasonable credit discretion. The reserves may include rent reserves, lower of cost or market reserve, port charges reserves and any other reserves that the Agent determines in its reasonable credit judgment to the extent such reserves relate to conditions that could reasonably be expected to have an adverse effect on the value of the collateral included in the borrowing base.
Subject to permitted exceptions, the obligations of the borrowers under the ABL Facility are guaranteed by each of our domestic subsidiaries and secured by (i) first-priority security interests in the ABL Priority Collateral (as defined in the Indenture), which includes, among other things, certain accounts receivables, inventory and cash of ours and the guarantors, and (ii) second-priority security interests in the Notes Priority Collateral (as defined in the Indenture), which includes, among other things, material mining properties, shares of capital stock of the guarantors, intellectual property, as extracted collateral (to the extent not constituting inventory), and certain fixed assets of ours and the guarantors.
Borrowings under the ABL Facility bear interest at a rate equal to either (i) SOFR, plus a credit adjustment spread, ranging currently from approximately 11 bps to 43 bps depending on the interest period selected by us, or (ii) an alternate base
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rate plus, in each case of the foregoing (i) and (ii), an applicable margin, which is determined based on the average availability of the commitments under the ABL Facility, ranging currently from 150 bps to 200 bps or 50 bps to 100 bps, respectively. In addition to paying interest on the outstanding borrowings under the ABL Facility, we are required to pay a fee in respect of unutilized commitments, which is based on the availability of the commitments under the ABL Facility, ranging from 25 bps to 37.5 bps. We are also required to pay a fee on amounts available to be drawn under outstanding letters of credit under the ABL Facility at a rate not in excess of 200 bps, and certain administrative fees.
We are able to voluntarily repay outstanding loans and reduce unused commitments, in each case, in whole or in part, at any time without premium or penalty. We are required to repay outstanding loans and cash collateralize letters of credit anytime the outstanding loans and letters of credit exceed the maximum availability then in effect. We are also required to use net proceeds from certain significant asset sales to repay outstanding loans, but may re-borrow following such prepayments if the conditions to borrowings are met.
The ABL Facility contains customary covenants for asset-based credit agreements of this type, including among other things: (i) requirements to deliver financial statements, other reports and notices; (ii) restrictions on the existence or incurrence of certain indebtedness; (iii) restrictions on the existence or incurrence of certain liens; (iv) restrictions on making certain restricted payments; (v) restrictions on making certain investments; (vi) restrictions on certain mergers, consolidations and asset dispositions; (vii) restrictions on certain transactions with affiliates; and (viii) restrictions on modifications to certain indebtedness. Additionally, the ABL Facility contains a springing fixed charge coverage ratio of not less than 1.00 to 1.00, which ratio is tested if availability under the ABL Facility is less than a certain amount. As of December 31, 2023, we were not subject to this covenant. Subject to customary grace periods and notice requirements, the ABL Facility also contains customary events of default.
We were in compliance with all applicable covenants under the ABL Facility as of December 31, 2023.
Senior Secured Notes
On December 6, 2021, we issued $350.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 7.875% senior secured notes due 2028 (the “Notes”) at an initial price of 99.343% of their face amount. The Notes were issued to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and to certain non-U.S. persons in transactions outside the United States in accordance with Regulation S under the Securities Act. We used the net proceeds of the offering of the Notes, together with cash on hand, to fund the redemption of all of our outstanding 8.00% senior secured notes due 2024 (the “Existing Notes”), including payment of the redemption premium in connection with such redemption.
The Notes will accrue interest at a rate of 7.875% per year from December 6, 2021. Interest on the Notes will be payable on June 1 and December 1 of each year, commencing on June 1, 2022. The Notes will mature on December 1, 2028.

At any time prior to December 1, 2024, we may redeem the Notes, in whole or in part, at a price equal to 100.00% of the principal amount of the Notes redeemed plus the Applicable Premium (as defined in the Indenture) and accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to, but excluding, the applicable redemption date. The Notes are redeemable at our option, in whole or in part, from time to time, on or after December 1, 2024, at redemption prices specified in the Indenture, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to, but excluding the redemption date. At any time on or prior to December 1, 2024, we may redeem up to 40% of the aggregate principal amount of the Notes with the proceeds of certain equity offerings, at a redemption price of 107.875% of the principal amount of the Notes, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to but excluding the redemption date. We are also required to make offers to purchase the Notes (i) at a purchase price of 101.00% of the principal amount thereof in the event we experience specific kinds of change of control triggering events, (ii) at a purchase price of 103.00% of the principal amount thereof prior to making certain restricted payments, and (iii) at a purchase price of 100.00% of the principal amount thereof in the event we make certain asset sales or dispositions and do not reinvest the net proceeds therefrom or use such net proceeds to repay certain indebtedness, in each case, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to, but excluding the date of purchase.
During the year ended December 31, 2023, we repurchased in the open market and extinguished approximately $8.0 million principal amount of our Notes. In connection with the extinguishment of our Notes, we recognized a loss on early extinguishment of debt of $0.1 million which is included in interest income (expense), net in the Statements of Operations.
Offers to Purchase the Notes
On August 9, 2023, we commenced an offer to purchase (the “Restricted Payment Offer”), in cash, up to $150.0 million principal amount of its outstanding Notes, at a repurchase price of 103% of the aggregate principal amount of such Notes, plus accrued and unpaid interest with respect to such Notes to, but not including, the date of repurchase (the “Restricted
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Payment Repurchase Price”). Concurrently with, but separate from, the Restricted Payment Offer, we commenced a cash tender offer (the “Tender Offer” and, together with the Restricted Payment Offer, the “Offers”) to purchase up to $150.0 million principal amount of the Notes at a repurchase price of 104.25% of the aggregate principal amount of such Notes, plus accrued and unpaid interest to, but not including, the date of repurchase (the “TO Repurchase Price”). The Offers expired on September 7, 2023 (the “Expiration Date”).
Restricted Payment Offer

As of the Expiration Date, $0.2 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes were validly tendered and not validly withdrawn pursuant to the Restricted Payment Offer. Pursuant to the terms of the Restricted Payment Offer:
(1) an automatic pro ration factor of 49.5674% was applied to the $0.2 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes that were validly tendered and not validly withdrawn in the Restricted Payment Offer (rounded down to avoid the purchase of Notes in a principal amount other than in integrals of $1,000), which resulted in $0.1 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes (the “RP Pro-Rated Tendered Notes”);
(2) we accepted all $0.1 million aggregate principal amount of the RP Pro-Rated Tendered Notes for payment of the Restricted Payment Repurchase Price in cash; and
(3) the remaining balance of $0.1 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes tendered that were not RP Pro-Rated Tendered Notes were not accepted for payment and were returned to the tendering holder of the Notes.
We consummated the Restricted Payment Offer on September 8, 2023.
Accordingly, pursuant to the terms of the Indenture, we will have the ability from time to time in the future to make one or more restricted payments (the "Proposed Restricted Payment") in the form of special dividends to holders of our common stock and/or repurchases of our common stock in the aggregate amount of up to $299.9 million consistent with the terms of the Capital Allocation Policy adopted by our Board. Any future Proposed Restricted Payments will be at the discretion of the Board and subject to a number of factors and there can be no assurance that we will make any Proposed Restricted Payments in the future.
Tender Offer
As of the Expiration Date, $294.8 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes were validly tendered and not validly withdrawn pursuant to the Tender Offer. Pursuant to the terms of the Tender Offer:
(1) an automatic pro ration factor of 49.5674% was applied to the $294.8 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes that were validly tendered and not validly withdrawn in the Tender Offer (rounded down to avoid the purchase of Notes in a principal amount other than in integrals of $1,000), which resulted in $146.0 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes (the “TO Pro-Rated Tendered Notes”);
(2) we accepted all $146.0 million aggregate principal amount of the TO Pro-Rated Tendered Notes for payment of the TO Repurchase Price in cash; and
(3) the remaining balance of $148.8 million aggregate principal amount of the Notes tendered that were not TO Pro-Rated Tendered Notes were not accepted for payment and were returned to the tendering holder of the Notes.
We consummated the Tender Offer on September 11, 2023.
In connection with the payments for the RP Pro-Rated Tendered Notes and the TO Pro-Rated Tendered Notes, we recognized a loss on early extinguishment of debt of $11.7 million during the year ended December 31, 2023.