Peabody Energy

    Peabody Energy Corp. history, profile and corporate video

     Peabody Energy Corp. is a coal mining company, which operates through the following segments: Western U.S. Mining, Midwestern U.S. Mining, Australian Mining, Trading and Brokerage, and Corporate and Other. The Western U.S. Mining segment consists of its Powder River Basin, Southwest and Colorado mines. This segment is engaged in the sale of thermal coal, sold primarily to electric utilities in the U.S. with a portion sold into the seaborne markets. The Midwestern U.S. Mining segment consists of its mines in Illinois and Indiana, which include a mix of surface and underground mining extraction processes and coal with a sulfur content and Btu. This segment is engaged in the sale of thermal coal, sold primarily to electric utilities in the U.S. with a portion sold into the seaborne markets. The Australian Mining segment consists of mines in Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Its operations are primarily export focused with customers spread across several countries and a portion of its coal is sold to Australian steel producers and power generators. The Trading and Brokerage segment is engaged in the brokering of coal sales both as principal and agent in support of various coal production-related activities that may involve coal to be produced from its mines and coal sourcing arrangements with third-party mining companies. This segment also engages in the trading of coal, freight and freight-related contracts and provides transportation-related services in support of its coal trading strategy, as well as hedging activities in support of its mining operations. The Corporate and Other segment includes selling and administrative items, activity associated with its joint ventures, resource management activity, past mining obligations and its other commercial activities. Peabody Energy was founded by Francis S. Peabody in 1883 and is headquartered in St. Louis, MO.

    “Peabody Energy History

    Early years (1883 – 1959)

    The Peabody Energy company was originally founded as Peabody, Daniels & Company in 1883 by Francis Peabody, the son of a prominent Chicago lawyer, and a partner.The company bought coal from established mines and sold it to homes and businesses in the Chicago area. In the late 1880s, Francis Peabody bought out his partner’s share of the business and the company was incorporated in the state of Illinois under the name Peabody Coal Company in 1890. In 1895, it began operations of its first mine in Williamson County, Illinois and later expanded its operations in Illinois. In 1913, the company won its first long-term contract to supply Chicago Edison Company, the predecessor to utilityCommonwealth Edison. The company’s growth continued after World War I and the corporation went public for the first time in 1929 with a listing on the Midwest Stock Exchange and in 1949, was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

    Despite being ranked eighth among the country’s top coal producers in the mid 1950s, Peabody began to lose market share to companies operating cost-efficient surface mining operations. To address the situation, it entered into merger talks with Sinclair Coal Company. A merger between the two companies occurred in 1955, resulting in the transfer of Peabody’s headquarters to St. Louis, Missouri. The merged company retained the Peabody name. Under the leadership of chairman Russell Kelce, the company expanded production and sales.


    In 1962, Peabody expanded into the Pacific with the opening of mining operations in Queensland, Australia. During this period Peabody also forged an equity partnership with the Japanese trading company Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and the Australian construction company Thiess Holdings. In 1968, the company was purchased by the Kennecott Copper Corporation. However, the U.S. Federal Trade Commissionchallenged the purchase as an antitrust violation. In 1976, the FTC ordered Kennecott to divest itself of Peabody. The newly created Peabody Holding Company purchased the Peabody Coal business of Kennecott for $1.1 billion, and a consortium of companies controlled Peabody-Holding.

    In the 1980s, Peabody expanded its operations in the Eastern United States, acquiring the West Virginia coal mines of Armco Inc in 1984. The company sought to broaden its metallurgical coal portfolio through the purchase of Eastern Gas and Fuel Associates’ seven West Virginia mines in 1987. Peabody also expanded westward, opening the North Antelope and Rochelle mines in the low sulfur Wyodak seam in the heart of Wyoming’s Powder River Basin in 1983 and 1984, respectively.

    The passage of the Clean Air Act amendments in 1990 prompted the closure of some Peabody mines. However, other mines under its ownership were able to remain in operation due to the implementation of new equipment and procedures that reduced sulfur dioxide emissions. Stricter requirements outlined in Phase II of the legislation also prompted Peabody to invest in emissions reducing technologies. In 1990, the U.K.-based conglomerate Hanson plc, one of the owners of Peabody Holding at the time, bought out the rest of the owners.

    In 1993, Peabody Energy expanded their holdings in the Pacific with the acquisition of three mines in Australia and subsequently developed a fourth operation in New South Wales. Peabody also expanded its operations domestically with acquisitions in New Mexico in 1993 and Wyoming in 1994 and assumed a stake in Black Beauty, a Midwest producer, in response to increased demand for metallurgical coal.


    Following corporate ownership changes in the 1990s, the company filed an initial public offering (IPO) in May 2001, and since this time it has operated as a publicly traded company. In 2002, Peabody launched its Peabody Energy Australia Coal Co. following the acquisition of the Wilkie Creek Mine in Queensland’s Surat Basin. The North Goonyella coal mine was acquired by Peabody in 2004. In October 2006, Peabody completed an acquisition of Excel Coal Limited, an independent coal company in Australia. Peabody paid $1.52 billion for Excel and also assumed $227 million of Excel’s debt. At the time, Excel owned three operating mines and three development-stage mines in Australia. Additionally, Excel had an estimated 500 million tons of proven and probable coal reserves. As of 2011, Peabody’s Australian mining operations are located in Queensland and New South Wales. Most of the company’s Australian production is metallurgical coal.

    The company also advanced a number of coal-to-liquids and coal-to-gas projects to reduce emissions during the decade. On August 30, 2007, Ernie Fletcher, the governor of the U.S. state of Kentucky signed into state law a bill that will provide approximately $300 million in incentives to Peabody to build a coal gasification plant in that state. The resulting incentives were provisioned in the form of breaks on sales taxes, incentive taxes and coal severance taxes. In 2007, Peabody and a consortium of municipal electric cooperatives began construction on the 1600-megawatt Prairie State Energy Campus clean coal project in Lively Grove, Illinois. The company now retains five percent equity stake in the project, which is expected to begin generating power for customers in 2011. At the 2010 World Energy Congress, Peabody CEO Gregory Boyce proposed a plan that advocated for the expanded use of coal worldwide, placing emphasis on geographic areas with limited or no access to electricity.”

    *Information from and

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    **Video published on YouTube by “StrategicVideoAwards



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