Coal Mining Giant Using Excess Power to Mine Bitcoin

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  • Alliance Resource Partners announced yesterday that it has mined 425 bitcoins using excess power from its coal mining operation
  • The company plans to keep the bitcoins on its balance sheet rather than selling
  • The Nasdaq-listed company, valued at $2.8 billion, joins other energy firms utilizing surplus power for bitcoin mining

Coal mining giant Alliance Resource Partners revealed yesterday that it is using excess power to mine bitcoin, adding 425 to its balance sheet. The Nasdaq-listed company, worth $2.8 billion, revealed the side quest in an earnings call yesterday, with its Senior Vice President and CFO, Cary Marshall, saying that the coins would be held on the balance sheet rather than being immediately sold. Alliance joins a growing list of companies in the energy sector that are making use of excess power and natural products to mine bitcoin.

Pilot Scheme Reaps Rewards

Marshall revealed in the call that Alliance began mining bitcoin in 2020 “as a pilot project to monetize already paid for yet underutilized electricity load at our River View mine,” noting that that the coins were valued at $30 million at the end of the quarter, representing a $7.5 million profit after mining expenses.

This profit will have shrunk since, however, with today’s price of $60,000 reducing their profit on the venture by $4.25 million, but the company plans to hold onto the coins for the medium term rather than making a quick buck.

No Pivoting Plans

Joe Craft, President and CEO of Alliance, pointed out on the call that the company isn’t necessarily pivoting to a Bitcoin-centric strategy but, instead, approaching its bitcoin mining operation with a high degree of practicality:

We are selling what we need to cover our expenses, so our exposure is limited. We do have some extra capacity that we’re renting out to other bitcoin miners within the data center that we’ve effectively built for this bitcoin mining to take advantage of the low energy costs we have.

Alliance joins other companies in the oil, natural gas, and coal sectors in putting their unused or waste products to good use. Excess gas from oil drilling ventures that would normally be burnt off, or ‘flared’, is being used to mine bitcoin by the likes of Exxon, while waste methane is also used for this purpose.