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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Federoff, Dorothy R.
Coal: Pennsylvania anthracite,   pp. 395-418 PDF (2.1 MB)


Page 395

  395Coal—Pennsylvania Anthracite 
By Dorothy R. Federoff1 
 Data in this chapter refer only to anthracite or hard coal, produced in
11 counties located in the northeastern part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The anthracite region is divided geologically into four fields: Northern,
Eastern Middle, Western Middle, and Southern. The area is also grouped into
three trade regions: 
Wyoming, Lehigh, and Schuylkill. 
 The downward trend in the production of anthracite continued in 1972. Continued
losses to competitive fuels in space-heating, a labor-shortage, and hurricane
Agnes, which flooded mines and slowed both production and movement to market,
contributed to the decline. 
 Total production of anthracite in 1972 was 7.1 million short tons, a decrease
of approximately 18.6% from that of 1971. Anthracite was produced at 117
underground mines, 115 strip pits, 63 cuim and silt banks, and 8 dredging
operations. Of the total output, 49% was produced at strip pits, 31% at cuim
and silt banks, 13% at underground mines, and 7% at dredging operations.
Compared with tonnages produced in 1971, underground production decreased
27%; culm and silt banks, 14%; strip production, 22%; however, dredge production
increased 22%. 
 The average value f.o.b. preparation plants for all sizes of anthracite,
excluding dredge coal, was $12.40 per ton compared with $12.08 per ton in
1971. The value of pea and larger sizes showed an increase of $0.79, averaging
$17.18 per ton, and the average value of buckwheat No. 1 and smaller sizes
increased $0.24 per ton to an average of $10.14 per ton. However, the total
value of the 1972 reduced output vas $85.3 million, a decrease of 19% from
the preceding year. 
 Apparent consumption of anthracite in the United States was approximately
5.9 million tons compared with 7.3 million tons in 1971, a drop of 19%. Although
use 
data are incomplete for anthracite, declines occurred in all categories except
coke-making, which indicated an increase of 13% for 1972. In former years,
the demand for space-heating coal created a surfeit of industrial coal, but
the trend has reversed— there is an increasing demand for industrial
anthracite. 
 Data released by the U.S. Bureau of Census, indicated that 743,451 short
tons of Pennsylvania anthracite were shipped to Canada and other foreign
countries, compared with 671,024 shipped in 1971. A more accurate measurement
of exports can be obtained by adding the quantity shipped for use by the
U.S. Armed Forces in West Germany (447,728 tons), to the tonnage reported
by the Bureau of Census. 
 Accordingly, approximately 1,191 million tons were actually exported in
1972, compared with 1,289 million tons in 1971. Increased shipments to Canada,
Europe, and South America were offset by diminished shipments to Asia and
other countries. 
 Days worked in the anthracite region averaged 216, 23 days less than in
1971. Productivity rate per man-day increased from 6.30 tons in 1971 to 6.88
tons in 1972. The number of nonfatal accidents dropped from 478 in 1971,
to 272 in 1972; but the fatalities increased to 3, compared with 2 in the
preceding year. 
 The Bureau publishes a series of weekly reports containing estimates of
weekly and monthly production based on car-loadings reported by railroads,
and monthly production statements of truck shipments provided by the Commonwealth
of Pennsylvania. 
 Legislation and Government Programs.— Federal and State Government
programs in the environmental area continued through 1972 and included underground
mine and refuse or cuim bank-fire control, surface 
 1 Minerals specialist, Division of Fossil Fuels; Assistant Directorate—Mineral
Supply. 


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