MINING: Cost-Cutting in Coal

The high cost of transporting coal is one reason coal has lost ground to other fuels. While the price of coal at the mine $4.85 a ton; has dropped over the past eight years, the average cost per ton to ship it to market rose from $1.47 in 1948 to $3.24 in 1955, and is still going up. Last week Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Co., biggest U.S. independent producer, demonstrated a radical new way to cut shipping costs. On an experimental basis, it sent the first coal through a 108-mile, $15 million pipeline designed...