Based on predetermined contract pricing, the four-year agreement is valued between $47m and $51m per year. Earlier this week, America West leased a coal storage and export terminal at a seaport based in the northwestern region of the US in anticipation of supplying coal to China-based power companies and other industrial users of thermal coal in the Asian markets.

Pursuant to this new agreement, the company expects to commence rail shipments of coal to the newly leased export terminal immediately with subsequent shipments to China expected to begin in June.

Dan Baker, CEO of America West, said: “We are very pleased that global demand for our compliant coal has been increasingly robust. In view of the number of new coal supply contracts we have signed or are currently negotiating, America West is working diligently towards re-establishing mining operations in two pillar sections at Horizon, with a goal of expanding to three sections by the end of this year and significantly increasing production.”