Coal miner Consol Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) was forced to close two of its southwestern Pennsylvania coal mines at the end of July due to the collapse of two conveyor belts that carries coal from the underground mines to the processing plant. The company said today that one of the belts would resume service the week of August 19th, enabling the mines to operate at about 60% of capacity.
At the end of Consol’s press release the company noted that it “does not currently expect to curtail any domestic sales as a result of this incident,” which is almost exactly what the company said when the collapse occurred in July:
Consol does not currently expect to curtail any domestic sales because all of the company’s other Northern Appalachian mines are operating normally. Overseas shipments in the spot market, though, could be affected.
Notice, however, that there is nothing in today’s announcement about overseas shipments. Does that mean that the shipments won’t be affected? Or that they will?
Investors apparently believe the former because the share price has jumped about 7% today, to $33.31, in a 52-week range of $26.41-$36.90.
Those of us who are naturally skeptical may interpret today’s lack of reference to mean that overseas shipments could still be in jeopardy. When Consol reported earnings about two weeks ago, the company said it expected to continue selling thermal coal to Asian markets “on a spot basis through the remainder of 2012.” That report came out just days before the conveyors collapsed.