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Natural Resource Partners

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

Natural Resource Partners L.P. (NRP) is a master limited partnership headquartered in Houston, Texas, with its operational headquarters in Huntington, West Virginia. According to its website, the company "is principally engaged in the business of owning and managing coal properties, and coal handling and transportation infrastructure in the three major coal producing regions of the United States: Appalachia, the Illinois Basin and the Powder River Basin. NRP also owns and manages aggregate reserves in Arizona, Texas, West Virginia and Washington. In addition the partnership manages oil and gas properties and timber assets in Appalachia.[1]

The partnership does not actively engage in the mining of any of its minerals or natural resources, but rather leases its properties to various operators in exchange for royalty payments." NRP states that 5% of all coal mined in the U.S. is from NRP properties.[1]

History

Natural Resource Partners was formed in April 2002 with selected properties from the following companies:[2]

  • Western Pocahontas Properties - formed in 1986 to acquire all the coal, timber and surface rights of CSX Corporation. These assets constituted approximately 45% of Natural Resource Partner's (NRP) reserves at December 31, 2001.
  • Arch Coal - the second largest coal producer in the United States. The properties contributed to NRP by Arch accounted for approximately 40% of NRP's reserves at December 31, 2001.
  • Great Northern Properties L.P. - formed in 1992 to acquire the coal-related assets of Burlington Railroad.
  • New Gauley Coal - as part of Western Pocahontas Properties' acquisition of the CSX properties, WPPLP acquired New Gauley Coal Corporation, which held additional properties in West Virginia.
  • Cline Group - in February 2012, Natural Resource Partners completed the fifth acquisition of coal reserves at the Deer Run Mine near Hillsboro, Illinois from Colt LLC, an affiliate of the Cline Group.[3]

CEO

Corbin Robertson is CEO and chairman of the board of Natural Resource Partners. He has been involved with a number of other energy and capital organizations, and sits on the boards of the American Petroleum Institute. He was listed as the richest US small-business owner in 2007 by CNNMoney.[4]

In June 2011, Robertson attended a closed strategy session of the billionaire Koch brothers, where Charles Koch said: "We have Saddam Hussein, this is the mother of all wars" in what appeared to be a reference to President Obama and the 2012 elections. Charles Koch then suggested that those in attendance could donate millions or billions of dollars toward the war.[4]

Mines

In February 2012, Natural Resource Partners made its fifth -- out of the planned seven -- purchase of coal reserves at the Deer Run Mine. The company bought the reserves from Colt LLC, an affiliate of the Cline Group. Natural Resource indicated that the construction of the new longwall mine is underway, and the company expects to start digging for coal in early 2012. Going forward, Natural Resource expects net income from the mine to exceed $40 million per year from the mine.

To date, Natural Resource has paid $215 million of the $255 million slated for the acquisition of approximately 200 million tons of reserves.[5]

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