While thermal coal prices slump close to four-year lows and coking-coal prices near their lowest level since 2007, most chief executive officers at main producers of the fossil fuel have seen their pockets getting heavier.
In average, CEO of major coal companies received $4.3 million in compensations last year, up more than $100,000 each when compared 2012 figures, reveals a study published by SNL Energy.
Seven of the 11 top executives at coal producers and coal-landholding companies analyzed in the report, received a double-digit percentage increase in option-adjusted compensation last year.
Pittsburgh-based CONSOL Energy retiring Chairman and CEO, J. Brett Harvey, remained the highest-paid coal company executive in 2013, receiving much of his compensation in the form of restricted stock awards, reveals the report.
He received almost $1.8 million in benefits under the company's retirement plans and about $2.4 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation, which includes cash incentives for meeting relevant performance measures during the year. This, not counting personal benefits, such as vehicle allowance and country club memberships among others.
The leader of Peabody Energy, the world's largest private-sector coal miner, figures as the coal executive receiving the second-highest compensation last year. According to SNL, Chairman and CEO Gregory Boyce got paid nearly 14% more last year ($10.8 million), up from the $9.5 million received in 2012.
In third place came Kevin Crutchfield, the head of Alpha Natural Resources, who was paid $8 million in 2013, up 28.4% from the $6.2 million he received the previous year.
Since 2011 declining coal prices have forced miners such as BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Glencore Xstrata to review their operations, resulting in staff cutbacks, mine closures, shelved expansion plans and asset sales.