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From EIA: Average U.S. Coal Mining Productivity Increases as Production Falls
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From EIA: Average U.S. Coal Mining Productivity Increases as Production Falls

 

U.S. coal production and number of mines in selected basins, as explained in the article text

 

 

Coal mining productivity in the United States increased 26% over the past five years, reaching 6.8 tons per miner hour in 2017, up from 5.4 tons per miner hour in 2012, according to Energy Information Agency’s (EIA) Annual Coal Report and data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

 

U.S. coal mining productivity has increased despite mine closings and decreasing employment and production. Technology and process improvements have contributed to the increase in productivity, but a larger factor is the distribution of productivity across mines. The mines that are first to close during market downturns are often the ones with higher production costs and lower productivity, while more productive mines remain operating, increasing overall productivity.

 

After several years of declines, coal production and employment increased in 2017. According to data from MSHA, coal production in 2017 increased by an estimated 6%, and total labor hours rose by 7% from 2016 levels.
U.S. coal exports were 97 million tons in 2017, up from 60 million tons in 2016 and the highest level since 2014.

 

Source: https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=35232&src=email

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