Alpha Natural Resources is the world’s third largest metallurgical coal supplier with an annual output of nearly 126 million tons of metallurgical coal. The company operates 150 active coal mines and 40 coal preparation plants accross Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming.
After taking over the coal producer Massey Energy in 2011, Alpha Natural Resources shot to the top of the list of controversial mining companies. Massey Energy has been accused of having poor working conditions, safety problems, issues with fraud, and mountaintop removal mining. As a result of the purchase, Alpha Natural Resources became the single largest company in the United States to practise the highly controversial mining technique, mountaintop removal (MTR) mining. Thin seams of coal inside the mountain are reached by blasting mountaintops. The blasted soil from the mountaintop is often dumped into nearby valleys; these are referred to as ‘valley fills.’
Investor information below correct as at publication date, December 2012, of Dirty Profits 1
2 RepRisk Report, March 2011: Most Controversial Mining Companies 2011
3 Rainforest Action Network, April 2011: Policy and practice. 2011
4 Environmental Protection Agency: What is mountaintop mining?