Appeals Court Affirms Dismissal of Lawsuit over Westmoreland Mine Expansion
Sep 15 14
A federal appeals court rejected a challenge by environmental groups over Montana's review of a Westmoreland Coal Co. permit application, a favorable ruling for coal producers in the state. The Sierra Club and the Montana Environmental Information Center, or MEIC, alleged that the Montana Department of Environmental Quality would not conduct an adequate cumulative hydrologic impact assessment during its review of Westmoreland's Rosebud coal mine expansion. The groups based their allegation on what they said were insufficient cumulative hydrologic impact assessment analyses on previously issued permits. The U.S. District Court for the District of Montana dismissed the lawsuit in January 2013. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed the dismissal in a Sept. 11 opinion, saying the Montana DEQ had not yet made a decision on the permit and the environmental groups lacked imminent harm. The director of the Montana DEQ is Tracy Stone-Manning, who officially replaced Richard Opper in 2013. The groups claimed that the Montana DEQ exhibited a pattern of failing to ensure mining activity did not harm water quality or damage the hydrology of streams and groundwater in Montana in its permitting of at least ten previous coal mines since 1995. Intervenors for the defense included Westmoreland unit Western Energy Co., Westmoreland Resources Inc., Cloud Peak Energy Inc. unit Spring Creek Coal LLC, Great Northern Properties LP and Natural Resource Partners LP. Crowell & Moring represented the Westmoreland companies, NRP, the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 400, and the Crow Tribe of Indians.
Natural Resource Partners LP Announces Unaudited Consolidated Earnings Results for the Second Quarter and Six Months Ended June 30, 2014; Reports Asset Impairment for the Second Quarter of 2014; Reaffirms Earnings Guidance for the Year 2014; Reports Production Results for the Second Quarter and Six Months Ended June 30, 2014
Aug 6 14
Natural Resource Partners LP announced unaudited consolidated earnings results for the second quarter and six months ended June 30, 2014. For the quarter, the company reported total revenues and other income was $90,561,000 against $86,804,000 a year ago. Income from operations was $50,403,000 against $55,332,000 a year ago. Income before non-controlling interest was $31,407,000 against $41,065,000 a year ago. Net income attributable to Limited partners was $30,779,000 or $0.28 per basic and diluted unit against $40,244,000 or $0.37 per basic and diluted unit a year ago. Net cash provided by operating activities was $61,008,000 against $79,736,000 a year ago. Oil and gas capital expenditures were $6,319,000 against nil a year ago. Distributable cash flow, a non-GAAP measure, was $64,944,000 against $90,650,000 a year ago. EBITDA was $77,178,000 against $76,068,000 a year ago. Non-GAAP "Net income attributable to the limited partners before considering the impairment was $36,290,000 or $0.33 per unit against $40,678,000 or $0.37 per unit a year ago. Revenues other than coal related revenues nearly doubled from the second quarter 2013 primarily due to increased oil and gas revenues and investment in the soda ash business. Oil and gas revenues increased nearly six-fold over the second quarter of 2013 to $10.1 million, primarily due to the revenues generated by NRP's Williston Basin properties acquired in the second half of 2013. NRP also recognized a 19% increase in the equity income associated with NRP's investment in the soda ash business due to both an increase in net income for the business as well as 23 additional days of income in 2014 over 2013.
For the six months, the company reported total revenues and other income was $170,870,000 against $181,136,000 a year ago. Income from operations was $102,842,000 against $117,860,000 a year ago. Income before non-controlling interest was $64,012,000 against $88,971,000 a year ago. Net income attributable to Limited partners was $62,732,000 or $0.57 per basic and diluted unit against $87,192,000 or $0.80 per basic and diluted unit a year ago. Net cash provided by operating activities was $99,638,000 against $123,649,000 a year ago. Oil and gas capital expenditures were $8,123,000 against nil a year ago. Distributable cash flow, a non-GAAP measure, was $103,871,000 against $135,135,000 a year ago. EBITDA was $148,898,000 against $156,683,000 a year ago. Non-GAAP "Net income attributable to the limited partners before considering the impairment was $68,243,000 or $0.62 per unit against $87,911,000 or $0.80 per unit a year ago.
The company reported Asset impairment was $5,624,000 against $443,000 a year ago.
The company reaffirmed earnings guidance for the year 2014. Excluding a $5.6 million impairment charge taken in the second quarter, the company is reaffirming its initial guidance for 2014. While the company anticipates that coal related revenues may be lower than the initial guidance, revenues from other sources are expected to increase, offsetting those declines.
For the quarter, the company reported Coal production was 11,851,000 tons against 14,894,000 tons a year ago.
For the six months, the company reported Coal production was 24,103,000 tons against 28,727,000 tons a year ago.