Alpha was formed in 2002 by members of management and by affiliates of First Reserve Corporation, a private equity firm.
We acquired the majority of the Virginia coal operations of Pittston Coal Company, a subsidiary of The Brink's Company, in December 2002.
On January 31, 2003, we acquired Coastal Coal Company, and on March 11, 2003, we acquired the U.S. coal production and marketing operations of American Metals and Coal International. In November of that year, we acquired Mears Enterprises, Inc. and affiliated entities.
In April of the following year, we acquired substantially all of the assets of Moravian Run Reclamation Co., Inc., including four active surface mines and two additional surface mines under development, operating in close proximity to and serving many of the same customers as our AMFIRE business unit located in Pennsylvania. That May, we acquired a coal preparation plant and railroad loading facility located in Portage, Pennsylvania and related equipment and coal inventory from Cooney Bros. Coal Company and an adjacent coal refuse disposal site from a Cooney family trust.
Mike Quillen, Alpha Natural Resources' founder.
In October 2005 Alpha acquired the Nicewonder Coal Group including their three surface mines and a road construction and coal recovery business in southwestern Virginia and southern West Virginia.
In May 2006, Alpha completed the acquisition of certain coal mining operations in eastern Kentucky from Progress Fuels Corp. Collectively the acquired businesses control 73 million tons of coal reserves. In December of that year, an Alpha subsidiary, Palladian Lime LLC, acquired a 94% ownership interest in Gallatin Materials LLC, a start-up lime manufacturing business in Verona, Ky. That interest was subsequently sold in October 2008.
In June 2008, Alpha acquired the Mingo Logan-Ben Creek coal mining assets in West Virginia from Arch Coal Inc. Mingo Logan consists of coal reserves, one deep mine and a load-out and coal processing plant.
In July 2009, Alpha consummated its largest business venture ever by completing a merger with Foundation Coal Holdings Inc. The Alpha-Foundation merger resulted in the third-largest coal company in America.
In June 2011, Alpha acquired Massey Energy Company to become America’s third-largest coal company and the fifth-largest coal producer in the world. The new acquisition brings together highly complementary assets, which include more than 150 mines, 40 coal preparation facilities, and one of the world’s largest and highest-quality metallurgical coal reserve bases.