Homes and businesses would have a hard time running their air conditioners and other electrical appliances without the power produced from the coal mined by Jim Walter Resources and its industry peers. A subsidiary of Walter Energy, Jim Walter Resources operates two coal mines in Alabama that have total reserves of more than 147 million tons, and the capacity to produce about 7 million tons of coal annually. The company sells its coal to steel producers in the US and overseas, though sales outside the US account for more than three-quarters of the company's coal revenue.
Jim Walter Resources is well-positioned to export coal: The company's mines in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, aren't far (less than 300 miles) from the Port of Mobile. All of the coal exported by Jim Walter Resources is metallurgical coal, which is used by steel producers. It had produced steam coal used for electricity generation but quit that business in early 2006.
In addition to coal, the company sells natural gas extracted from coal seams. The gas is produced and sold by Black Warrior Methane, a joint venture with El Paso.
In 2009 parent Walter Energy closed its loss-making Jim Walter Homes business and announced plans to focus solely on natural resources exploitation.
Joseph Leonard was named interim CEO of Jim Walter Resources in 2010. He replaces Victor Patrick, who announced his retirement. Leonard was formerly the chairman and CEO of Air Tran Holdings. The company's board is conducting a search for a permanent CEO.