Atlantic Coal has increased the production capacity at its Stockton Colliery, an opencast anthracite operation, for the second quarter of the year due to the diversion of Norfolk Southern Railroad.

The Stockton Colliery covering 900ha is located in Hazle Creek in North-East Pennsylvania, has seen 18.8% surge in the production of the clean coal in the last three months till 30 June when compared to the first quarter of the year. The production is 37,686 tons more.

The company has benefited from the completion of the Norfolk Southern Railroad diversion which has helped Atlantic gain access to about 1 million tons of unworkable reserves.

Atlantic Coal also removed 1,128,981 bank cubic yards of overburden, washed 88,762 tons of run-of-mine coal in the quarter and has achieved an average sales price of $166.85 for the anthracite coal.

Atlantic managing director Steve Best said the successful diversion of the railroad in April has transformed the company’s production profile at Stockton.

"The Company equalled its total 2011 ROM production of 208,730 tons in July 2012," Best added.

"This creates a positive pricing environment in which to implement our growth strategy to consolidate our position in the productive Pennsylvanian anthracite field."

Atlantic Coal is expecting to continue the increased production and achieve the target of producing clean coal over 155,000 tons for the year. The target was set following a report from Mine Engineers which suggested production of 160,000 tons of clean coal is achievable.

UK based Atlantic Coal is a coal production and processing company.