- Harvard University, Doctor of Jurisprudence, 1989
- West Virginia College of Graduate Studies, Master of
Business Administration, 1978
- West Virginia University, Bachelor of Science: Engineer of
INDEPENDENT EXPERT US ENERGY INDUSTRY BANKRUPTCY REORGANIZATIONS, 2015 - PRESENT:
BLACKACRELLC has been selected as the Independent Expert to the Unsecured Creditors
in the Patriot Coal; Alpha Natural Resources; Arch Coal; Peabody Coal; West Moreland Coal and Mission Coal
Bankruptcy Reorganizations. These major restructurings involve $30
Billion of debts to Senior Lenders and Unsecured Creditors. Mr.
Blackburn has focused on finding value for his clients in
Unencumbered Assets, Analysis of Debtor Business Plans and
Valuation of Corporate businesses. Mr. Blackburn has provided
Expert Opinions and Testimony in US Bankruptcy Courts in Richmond, VA
and St. Louis, MO in support of client motions. In this role, he works
closely with Bankruptcy Counsel, Investment Banks and Financial Advisors.
ENERGY INDUSTRY CONSULTANT, 1999 – 2015: Strategy, litigation support
and general management. Client’s includes: AEP, AES, AEI, Reliant
Energy, Midwest Energy Development Company, Lehman Energy Fund,
Standard Bank - South Africa, West LB - Germany, and Power4Georgians
MINERALS, CEO and Director, Trinity Coal, 2012 P&L responsibility
for $600mm investment. Led company thru insolvency. Rationalized and
reorganized nine (9) mines. Negotiated $58mm settlement with CAT
Finance. Negotiated $37mm of underwater fuel supply agreements with
numerous utilities. Negotiated settlement with large SE utility over
quality dispute. Employment Agreement concluded with naming of CRO and
decision of Bank Consortia to file Involuntary Bankruptcy proceeding in
US District Court for the Eastern District of KY.
- Midwest Energy Development Company, Project Manager, 2006
– 2008 Acquired 1.0 billion tons of medium-sulfur coal in Southern
Illinois. Developed strategic plan for corporation. Developed mine plan
and led feasibility study.
- Asian American Coal, Inc., President and Chief Executive
Officer, 1999 – 2001 Developed strategic plan for energy development in
China. Selected projects with high value added potential. Developed
friends and family investor program. Set terms and conditions for joint
venture agreements. Acquired five billion tons of super compliance coal
reserves. Acquired 24 TCF of coalbed methane reserves. Acquired $2B
contract backlog. Led $63mm IFC financing for first joint venture. Led
$75mm Rothschild private equity offering.
ZEIGLER COAL HOLDING COMPANY, Senior Vice President of
Operations, 1994 – 1999 Responsibilities included profit and loss as
Chief Operating Officer for $700 million per year coal company with
over 2,000 salaried and hourly employees (reporting directly and
indirectly). IPO team member 1995. $800mm offering. Participated in
$750mm revolver financing, 1997.
- Rationalized 13 mining complexes, reduced head count by
60% and improved cash flow by 51%.
- Direct Reports include: President of Triton Coal Company
(18 Mtpy), President of Bluegrass Coal Development Company (10 Mtpy),
President of Mountaineer Coal Development Corporation (8 Mtpy) and Vice
President of Operations Support.
- Initiated the Individual Safety Responsibility (ISR)
Safety Program and cut lost time accidents by 50%. Initiated and
sponsored seven Systems Improvement Groups: Coal Processing,
Environmental, Maintenance, Safety, Supply Chain Management, Surface
and Underground, which focus on cost savings, revenue generation and
productivity improvement throughout the entire coal business segment
resulting in a cost reduction of $10 million per year.
- Instituted a five-year management training program in
conjunction with a Succession Planning effort.
ENERGY INDUSTRY CONSULTANT, Strategy, Litigation Support,
General Management, 1992 – 1994 Client List included: Goldman Sachs,
General Dynamics and Public Service of Indiana (The two largest Fuel Supply
Agreement Litigations in US history).
- MAPCO COAL, INC., Senior Vice President of Operations,
1990 – 1992 Profit and loss responsibility as Chief Operating Officer
for $450 million per year coal company, with over 1,500 salaried and
hourly employees (reporting directly and indirectly). Direct Reports
included: Vice President of Central Region (5.7 Mtpy), Vice President
of Eastern Kentucky Region (4 Mtpy), Vice President of Maryland Region
(2.7 Mtpy) and Vice President of Virginia Region (2.5 Mtpy). Other
responsibilities included: Human Resources and Government/Public
- Instituted a Corporate Safety Program and cut lost-time
accidents by 50%. Upgraded preparation plants and added 3% yield on 11
Mtpy. Returned Mettiki Coal Corporation to profitability in 1990 and
1991, with 1992 Second Quarter Costs at a 15-year low. Designed and
acquired new shields for a 750-foot longwall face. Instituted total
quality management and on-line analysis for optimum control. Introduced
industrial engineering techniques, resulting in production increases up
to 30%. Instituted three-year management training program in
conjunction with succession planning effort.
A.T. MASSEY COAL COMPANY, INC., 1973 – 1990 Responsibilities
included: Completed final negotiations for acquisition requiring
authorization of approximately $135 million; completed review of major
American coal company as possible acquisition and prepared valuation
for submission to final bid for an expanding company (project required
authorization for expenditures in excess of $200 million).
- Head, Mergers & Acquisitions Group
- President, The Elk Run Group, 1979 – 1986 Formed The Elk
Run Group combining five independent coal companies. Acquired Peerless
Eagle Coal Company (1983) and brought the company from a loss of $5
million (1983) to a profit of $500,000 (1985); increased coal
production by 60%, while reducing staff by 70%; increased sales from
$40 million to $100 million; turned a profit from a loss of $1 million
(1983) to a gain of $8.5 million (1986), which remained constant
through the spring of 1989; obtained a $1.3 million judgment against
United Mine Workers of America for damages caused by a secondary
boycott, and initiated long-term strategic planning. Founded Elk Run
Coal Company and arranged for all financing, facilities, design,
planning, construction, hiring and sub-contracting. Responsible for
design of complementing organizational infrastructure including
personnel policies, accounting procedures and administrative support.
Successfully met legal challenges by the United Mine Workers of
America, thereby maintaining union-free status. Increased revenue from
$0 to $40 million and turned a profit from loss of $.5 million to a
gain of $4 million.
- Vice President, Peerless Eagle Coal Company, 1977 – 1979
Responsible for engineering and resource acquisition; initiation of
long-range strategic planning; and, establishment and implementation of
the mine’s Health and Safety Program.
- Assistant Manager of Mines, 1975 – 1977 Supervised 500
employees with operational responsibilities for two million tons of
annual coal production.
- Chief Industrial Engineer, 1973 – 1975 Established the
group’s Operating Standards. Responsible for preparation and review of
all capital expenditures and development of all capital budgets.
- West Virginia University - WVU School of Mines
Distinguished Engineer of Mines.
- College of Engineering and Mineral Resources Board of
- Society of Mining Engineers, AIME - 1985 Outstanding
Mining Engineer of the Year
- PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION
- West Virginia Coal Mining Institute, Past President
- American Institute of Mining Engineers
BOARDS OF DIRECTORS
- Alpha Natural Resources (ANR)
- ESSAR Minerals
- James River Coal Company (JRCC)
- Asia American Coal Company (PRC)
- Carbones de la Guajira (VZ)
- Bituminous Coal Operators Association (BCOA)
- Numerous Zeigler Coal Holding Company Subsidiaries (ZCHC)
- Numerous A.T. Massey Subsidiaries (MEE)
- WV School of Mines Board of Advisors
- University of Charleston Board of Trustees