Since 1983, Coal Age has sponsored Coal Prep, the International Conference and Trade Show dedicated to the coal preparation industry. This event has grown in size and stature over the years and this year celebrates its 20th Anniversary.
    Coal preparation is increasing in importance as steam coal users require optimum calorific value, consistent grindability, minimal moisture and ash variability. The metallurgical coal customers require a higher degree of product consistency to maximize coke yield, coke strength, and ultimate maximum hot metal production and quality. The goals for coal preparation therefore are to reduce coal preparation costs and improve quality as well as to produce a low sulfur coal product. At the present rate of consumption, current coal reserves are expected to last for 250 years but there is increasing international competition for existing coal markets and environmental pressures are restricting the grades of coal that can be easily marketed.
    According to the SME handbook, High Efficiency Coal Preparation, about 45% of the coal mined in the U.S. passes through coal preparation plants. East of the Mississippi River, this number increases to about 80%. The coal industry faces the challenges of continuing downward pressure on the price of coal and the impact of environmental regulations. Coal Prep experts from around the world are converging in Lexington, Kentucky to discuss the challenges faced by the coal preparation industry.      
     Coal Leader congratulates Coal Age, the sponsor of Coal Prep, on the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of this important industry event.


Bill Reid



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