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NUMBER AND OUTPUT OF PRODUCERS AS DISTINCT

FROM MINES

The foregoing statistics represent the number of mines or openings. The number of producing companies is of course much less, because the largest companies operate dozens or scores of mines. No count was made of the number of companies in 1923, but Table 54, analyzing the returns for 1920 for the bituminous-coal industry, may be taken as approximately representative of conditions in 1923. In this table each corporation, partnership, or individual reporting production to the Geological Survey has been classified by the size of his total output. The year 1920 was selected for this analysis because the market conditions in that year were such as to call into active operation all the producing enterprises. Of the 12,122 producing enterprises reported as contributing to the supply of bituminous coal in 1920, 1,440 were country banks (a number that doubtless would have been larger had it been possible to ascertain them all) and 4,405 were wagon mines shipping by rail. The commercial producers proper numbered 6,277. Among them were 795 companies,

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FIGURE 44.- Relative number of large and small bituminous-coal producing companies in 1920, and num

ber of mines and tonnage which they control. Note that the figures represent not mines but companies, and that no account has been taken of intercorporate holdings or atliliations, each corporation being treated as a unit. Wagon-mine producers are included

individuals, or partnerships that produced less than 2,000 tons each. The aggregate contribution of these 795 shippers was 838,000 tons, only 0.15 per cent of the total output. Yet these producers were sufficiently well established, in spite of their small tonnage, to be classed by the Geological Survey as “commercial” or “local commercial," as distinct from the mushroom-like wagon mines. At the other end of the scale were 4 companies that produced 5,000,000 tons or more each. These 4 companies operated 213 mines and contributed 40,505,000 tons to the supply of the country. Between these two groups were ranged the rest of the commercial shippers.

In the preparation of these tables each corporation reporting to the Geological Survey has been treated as a unit, and no account has been taken of the interlocking ownership or interests of these companies. The tables therefore understate the degree of concentration of ownership in the bituminous-coal mining industry. Such financial affiliation or community of interest is of course common, not merely among the largest companies, but also within the smaller groups producing from 50,000 to 500,000 tons a year.

Table 54.Bituminous-coal producers in 1920, classified by size of output

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Country banks reporting...
Wagon mines shipping by rail, other than local commercial mines.
Commercial and local commercial mines producing-

Less than 2,000 tons.
2,000 to 4,999 tons.-
5,000 to 9,999 tons.
10,000 to 49,999 tons.
50,000 to 99,999 tons.
100,000 to 199,999 tons.
200,000 to 299,999 tons.
300,000 to 399.999 tons.
400,000 to 499,999 tons.
500,000 to 599,999 tons.
600,000 to 699,999 tons.
700,000 to 799,999 tons.
800,000 to 899,999 tons.
900,000 to 999,999 tons.
1,000,000 to 1,249,999 tons.
1,250,000 to 1,499,999 tons.
1,500,000 to 1,749,999 tons.
1,750,000 to 1,999,999 tons.
2,000,000 to 2,499,999 tons.
2,500,000 to 2,999,999 tons.
3,000,000 to 4,999,999 tons.
5,000,000 tons or more..

798 814

781
2,381

974
888
424
215
152
98
70
122

20
12

83883 2,604, 30 5, 337, 53, 346 51, 242 75,50 49,019, 48 32, 96.5932 23, 390, 433 17, 914, 49 18, T1,916 14,969,8 10, 112, 361 14, 149, 119 18, 691, 334 12, 471, 314 17,935, 541 18, 747, 303 20,329, 843 21, 697,649 43,943, 573 40, 506, no

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Detailed tables, showing for each State the number of producing companies in each size class, the number of mines operated by them, and their production will be found in Mineral Resources for 1922, Part II, pages 535-544.

By excluding the wagon mines, a comparison of the size of the producing corporations in 1920 and in 1905 is made in Table 55. It indicates that during the 16 years 1905 to 1920 the number of large and small commercial companies had been increasing at about the same rate.

This table, like Table 54, counts each producing corporation as a unit regardless of possible affiliations. TABLE 55.— Trend of size of producing bituminous-coal corporations, 1905 and 1920

[Data include commercial and local commercial producers only)

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37.4 71. 2 82. 8 97. 0 98. 7 99.9 100.0

29.9 51.3 62.4 82.7 87. 2 97.6 100. O

26.8 53.5 64.4 83. 2 89.0 97.6 100.0

1.6 9.4 18. 3 51. 7 62.5 92. 4 100.0

65 5 92.8 1000

In sharp contrast to the wide dissemination of ownership in the bituminous coal-mining industry the production of anthracite is concentrated in the hands of a few companies. The following analysis of the returns of 1920 is in general representative of conditions in 1923. As before, the table treats each corporation as a unit without regard to interlocking ownership or interest. Were it possible to combine accurately the several producing interests the degree of concentration of ownership would appear much greater.

TABLE 56. — Anthracite producers in 1920, classified by size of output

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Less than 2,000 tons.
2,000 to 4,999 tons..
5,000 to 9,999 tons.
10,000 to 49,999 tons..
50,000 to 99,999 tons..
100,000 to 199,999 tons..
200,000 to 299,999 tons.
300,000 to 399,999 tons.
400,000 to 499,999 tons.
500,000 to 599,999 tons.
600,000 to 699,999 tons.
700,000 to 799,999 tons.
800,000 to 899,999 tons..
900,000 to 999,999 tons.
1,000,000 to 1,249,999 tons.
1,250,000 to 1,499,999 tons.
1,500,000 to 1,749,999 tons..
1,750,000 to 1,999,999 tons.
2,000,000 to 2,499,999 tons.
2,500,000 to 2,999,999 tons..
3,000,000 to 4,999,999 tons..
5,000,000 tons or more..

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4, 192 15, 688 33, 006 358, 820

989, 946 3, 650, 850 3, 404, 033 1, 276, 145 1, 538, 324 1, 120, 253

668, 822

31, 548 365, 481 318, 936

16, 411 73, 666 595, 431

18, 614 43, 415 137, 949

811, 100 1, 430, 427 3,969, 786 3, 420, 444 1, 349, 811 2, 133, 755 1, 120, 253

668, 822

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TABLE 57.Anthracite and bituminous-coal producers in 1920, classified by size of

output
Number of pro-

Percentage of total ducers in each output in each size class

size class
Size of output.

Anthra- Bitumi- Anthra- Bitumi-
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o The unit used in this tonnage classification is the net ton of 2,000 pounds for bituminous-coal pro ducers, and the gross ton of 2,240 pounds for anthracite producers.' This difference is offset by the large percentage of the anthracite output that is required for mine fuel.

VALUE OF COAL PRODUCED

DEFINITION OF VALUES REPORTED The value given in this report is the amount received at the mines f.o. b. cars, less selling expense, and the average value per ton is the average amount received, obtained by dividing

the total value by the number of tons sold or produced. Coal used at the mine, coal coked by the producing company, and coal used in some other industry by

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that company-in all forming a considerable part of the total output-is not sold, and the value placed upon it is either an estimate or the amount at which it is carried on the company's books. Either value is presumably the amount the coal would have brought if it had been sold or the amount other fuel for the purpose stated would have cost if it had been purchased. In other words, the values given rep.

. resent returns to the operators for coal sold plus the estimated value of that not sold. The value thus fixed is more or less arbitrary and does not necessarily represent the current prices for coal sold commercially. Many mines are owned by consumers who take all or a great part of their output at nominal prices. The output of such captive mines is not known accurately, but it is probably between 20 and 25 per cent of the entire production. Even where the coal is actually sold large quantities may be moved on "cost-plus” contracts that provide for prices below the average spot prices in the field or the average prices received for coal delivered under ordinary contracts. The figures in the following tables therefore do not necessarily show prices or even an average of the prices of coal at the mines. Taken over a period of years, however, they do furnish an index to the rise and fall in the value of coal.

The computed “average value per ton” is thus affected by the value placed by the operator upon coal used at the mine but not shipped. In order to ascertain how large an influence the inclusion of this noncommercial coal might have upon the average, the Geological Survey for several years requested operators to give separate statements of value for coal loaded at the mines for shipment, for sale to local trade, and for mine fuel and coal made into beehive coke. It was found, however, that for practical purposes the average value of all the coal produced may be accepted as a measure of the average value of the coal shipped. The values placed by operators on mine fuel and upon the coal coked were generally somewhat less than the average amounts received for the coal shipped, but the quantities to which these lower values applied were so much smaller than the quantity shipped that they affected only slightly the average for all coal produced. Thus in 1921 the average value of all bituminous coal shipped was $2.90 per ton. The average of all coal produced, including mine fuel, local sales, and coal coked, was $2.89, only 1 cent less.

TABLE 58.—Value of bituminous coal produced in the United States in 1925

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Alabama..
Alaska.
Arkansas.
California, Idaho,

and Oregon.
Colorado.
Georgia
Illinois.
Indiana
Iowa.
Kansas
Kentucky.
Maryland.
Michigan.
Missouri.
Montana.

20, 457, 649 $51, 624,000 $2.52
119, 826 755, 000

6. 30
1, 296, 892 5, 192,000 4. 01

20,066 79, 000 3. 94 10, 346, 218 33, 299, 000 3. 22

75, 620 327,000 4. 32 79, 310, 075 198, 388,000 2. 50 26, 229, 099 65, 046, 000 2. 48 5, 710, 735 20, 517, 000 3. 59 4, 443, 149 14, 275, 000 3. 21 44, 777, 317 113, 542, 000 2. 54 2, 285, 926 6,911, 000 3. 02 1, 172, 075 5, 545, 000 4. 73 3, 403, 151 11, 575, 000 3. 40 3, 147, 678 9, 652, 000

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New Mexico.
North Carolina..
North Dakota..
Ohio.
Oklahoma.
Pennsylvania
South Dakota.
Tennessee.
Texas.
Utah.
Virginia..
Washington..
West Virginia.
Wyoming...

2,915, 173 $10, 668,000 $3.68

36, 019 132,000 3. 66 1, 385, 400 3, 275,000 2. 36 40, 546, 443 98, 610, 000 2 43

2, 885, 038 10, 874,000 3. 77 171, 879, 913 472, 217,000

275 10, 379 25,000 2 41 6, 040, 268 16, 515,000 2 73 1, 187, 329 2, 162, 000 1. 82 4, 720, 217 13, 657,000 2 89 11, 761, 643 32, 468,000 2 76

2, 926, 392 10, 894, 000 3. 72 107, 899, 941 285, 481, 000

2. 65 7, 575, 031 20,916, 000 2 76 564, 564, 662 1,514,621,000 265

ESTIMATES OF VALUE INCLUDED IN THE STATISTICS If an operator who is known to have produced coal during the year

will make no report of the value of his product to the Geological Survey an estimate of the value is included in the total, in order to make it complete. In 1920 and again in 1922 and 1923 a considerable number of operators were unwilling to disclose the amount they had received for their coal, and the number of estimates included in the figures was so great that the readers of these reports should be advised of the method of estimate and of the proportion of the output for which estimate was made. The method used in 1920 and 1922 was to multiply the tons of output reported by the average spot price per ton in the district as quoted by Coal Age. The same method was followed in estimating the value of the coal produced at wagon mines and at new mines from which the Survey heard indirectly through railroads or State mine inspectors, for the information from these

sources showed the output but not the value. In 1923 a different method of estimate was employed. The wagonmine product was estimated as before at the average spot price for the district. Estimates of the value of the commercial product, however, were based on the average for each county of all reports from operators in the county that did specify value.

The percentage of the total value of the product in each State in 1923 represented in this report by estimates is shown in the following table: TABLE 59.—Percentage of total value of bituminous coal produced in 1923 by com

mercial operators that is represented by estimates Alabama.. 8. 3 North Dakota..

0.9 Arkansas.. 15. 5 Ohio.-.

3. 4 Colorado. 7. 1 Oklahoma..

18. 4 Illinois.

5. 8 Pennsylvania.. Indiana. 9. 4 South Dakota

1. 4 Iowa... 2 Tennessee

6.8 Kansas.. 12. 5 Texas.

21. 0 Kentucky 14. 1 Utah...

.2 Maryland. 3.5 Virginia

3. 2 Missouri.. 6.8 Washington.

16. 3 Montana. 2. 4 West Virginia

8. 1 New Mexico. .3 Wyoming

3. 3 North Carolina

58. 3
United States

6. 2 Of the $1,514,621,000 given as the total value of bituminous coal at the mines in 1923, $93,959,000, or 6.2 per cent, represents estimates of the value of the output of commercial mines. The total also includes an item of $3,644,000 for the value placed by the Geological Survey on the product of 2,384 wagon mines, which represented 0.2 per cent of the total value. In all, therefore, estimates had to be made for about 6.4 per cent of the total value in 1923. In the average for the whole country the proportion estimated is not large enough to introduce an appreciable error, but in the figures for some of the States the error may be serious.

FLUCTUATIONS IN VALUE Changes in average value from 1880 to 1923 are shown in Table 60. The figures for anthracite are of doubtful significance, because they include both the steam and domestic sizes. In 1880 the smaller of

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