Bowie Resource Partners
Bowie Resource Partners is a coal-mining company based in Louisville, Kentucky. Once the owner of a small mine in western Colorado, by 2015 the company was the largest coal miner in Utah, with additional mines in Colorado and New Mexico. The company owns tens of thousand of acres of federal coal leases.
Bowie's coal is burned in power plants mostly in the western U.S. However, the company is increasingly exporting its coal overseas. The company has enlisted the financial support of local governments and the State of Utah to advance its export plans.
A Wild Earth Guardians map of the company's mines, coal leases, coal export terminals, coal plants supplied, as well as other data, is available here.
The company started with its No. 2 mine in western Colorado. Then in 2013, three mines in Utah were acquired from Arch Coal. As of 2015, Bowie is set to acquire an additional Colorado mine and two in New Mexico from Peabody Energy.
Mines acquired in 2015:
- Foldel Creek mine
- El Segundo mine
According to Wild Earth Guardians, publicly owned coal comprises the vast majority of coal mined by Bowie. Publicly owned coal has been sold to Bowie for as low as 36¢ per ton.
The company has signaled its interest in two new leases. One, the Greens Hollow lease, would expand the company's SUFCO mine in central Utah. The second, the Book Cliffs lease, would allow Bowie to start a new mining operation in western Colorado. And in acquiring the Foidel Creek mine, the company is also set to secure a new lease that Peabody applied for in 2014. In total, the leases contain nearly 130 million tons of coal.
In 2014, Bowie mines produced nearly 30 million tons of coal.
According to the company, coal from its No. 2 mine in Colorado and from its Utah mines is hauled by rail to California and shipped from two ports: the Port of Stockton and a privately owned terminal at Richmond Port. As of 2015 the company exports more than five million tons of coal annually. Much of the coal exported by Bowie makes its way through the Levan, Utah transfer facility. Coal from Bowie's SUFCO mine is trucked here, loaded onto Union Pacific railcars, and shipped west.
Bowie has also proposed construction of a new export terminal at the Port of Oakland, which could increase its exporting capacity by up to 10 million tons annually.
According to IEEFA: "In 2013, Bowie bought out Arch Coal’s Utah holdings—the Skyline, Dugout, and Sufco mining properties—for US$435 million. The company used Trafigura, a Dutch commodity-trading house, and its Trafigura’s private equity vehicle Galena Associates to finance the transaction. Bowie today owes $470 million on that deal, according to its June 2015 preliminary filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. [In November 2015], Bowie announced another expansion deal, to buy three mines from Peabody Energy—two in New Mexico and one in Colorado—for US$358 million in cash (and $105 million in liabilities). The company said an unidentified private equity firm would support the Peabody transaction—and that the mysterious investor would put $313 million into two tranches to take out Galena’s interest in the Utah mines.... [W]hat can be gleaned from various filings, once you do the math, is that Bowie’s expansion is occurring on the back of more than $800 million in private equity money."
Articles and resources
- Bowie Resources: A New Climate Threat Emerges, Wild Earth Guardians, accessed Dec 2015
- Tom Sanzillo, "In Questionable Coal-Expansion Strategy, One Company Appears Especially Out of Sync," IEEFA, Dec 16, 2015