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Mining People Magazine

Mark Jensen

es, coal has suffered a couple of downturns in the

last few years, but the facts are clear: countries

around the world are developing, and a developing

world needs steel. To make steel, you need coal. And

that coal has to be mined somewhere.

That’s the common-sense reality that drove the men behind

American Resources to get into the coal business in Central


“Our backgrounds were finance and turnaround

consulting. We believed in the global growth of

infrastructure and believe that, even still today,

infrastructure’s going to be a huge driver of resources,”

says CEO Mark Jensen.

“So, we started looking around at the different regions

and different areas and saw some projects in eastern

Kentucky that we thought were attractive to basically

enter into the infrastructure market in the beginning, at

the base of it, which is at the resources, the minerals.”

Restructuring that mining complex in Floyd County, Ky.,

back in 2006 proved a success.

“We took it from nothing to a run rate of about $80

million in revenue in a short time… and fell in love with

the space, fell in love with the opportunity,” Jensen

says. “We saw and we see today that the legacy

operators approach things one way and that’s the only

way they do it. From our standpoint, if you can be a little

bit more nimble and a little bit more flexible, you can produce coal [more


The company’s momentum continued in 2015 with the founding of

Coal in Central Appalachia:

‘The Key is


by Debra McCown Thomas