On Tuesday morning, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that Coronado Global Resources plans to expand its operations in Buchanan and Tazewell counties in Southwest Virginia.
Coronado is investing $169.1 million toward this effort, which aims to increase capacity at its Buchanan Mine Complex to meet the growing demand for metallurgical coal, an essential element in steel production. The 181 new jobs will be created over four years and pay above average wages.
“Coronado Global Resources’ major expansion is a win-win, creating 181 high-paying jobs in the resilient Buchanan community and increasing Southwest Virginia’s production of an essential component for the steel industry,” Youngkin said in a statement. “We value our long-term corporate partnership with Coronado and look forward to the economic benefits that will stem from this tremendous announcement.”
Youngkin approved a $3,535,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist both counties with the project. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with both counties as well as InvestSWVA to secure the project for Virginia.
“Coronado’s additional investment in its Buchanan operation and its skilled workforce demonstrate a commitment to ensuring Virginia remains the energy capital of the East Coast,” Senator Todd Pillion, co-chair of InvestSWVA said in a statement. “Our team is proud to have partnered with Coronado’s executive leadership in a retention and growth strategy that will supply the world’s steel manufacturers with the highest-quality met coal available in the global market.”
Coronado operates in two of the largest and most productive metallurgical coal basins in the world – the Bowen Basin in Queensland, Australia, and the Central Appalachian region. As Southwest Virginia looks to diversify its economy, this high-quality metallurgical coal is an ideal way to integrate the region into the new energy economy.
“Southwest Virginia is leveraging its assets in order to build for the future, and metallurgical coal production is an essential industry in the new energy economy,” said Will Payne, managing partner of Coalfield Strategies. “Metallurgical coal is critical steel-making input required for wind turbines, solar panels and battery components. Without companies like Coronado, we would not have renewable energy assets to deploy.”
Since Coronado is a global company, Pillion said this project could have easily happened elsewhere and credited an all-hands-on-deck approach on the state and local levels for allowing Virginia to land this opportunity. Pillion praised the efforts of Youngkin, Virginia Secretary of Trade and Commerce Carren Merrick and Virginia Economic Development Partnership CEO Jason El Koubi for helping close the deal.
“Their enthusiastic engagement sends a message that Virginia is reasserting its energy dominance while helping build toward America’s energy independence – and doing it right here in Southwest Virginia with an all-of-the-above-and-below strategy,” Pillion said.