The sale is expected to start in the third week of March and will generate cash flow at an estimated $52.80m revenue and a $5m to $8m earnings annually.

The company has secured an agreement to begin selling thermal steam coal to a subsidiary of the sixth largest metallurgical coal producer in the US with an annual volume of more than 4 million tons.

Universal will purchase the coal from Whitesburg and sell it directly to the coal producers and electric power utility customers.

The company said the deal is projected to generate over $264m over the next five years, which is expected to fund its growth and expansion programs.