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Investors in the coal sector have been waiting for a light at the end of the tunnel for some time now, but so far any new lights have just been another oncoming train. Natural Resource Partners (NRP) has held better than most though, as the company's strategy of operating as a royalty-collecting lessor helps mitigate some of the operating issues that miners like Arch Coal (ACI), Cloud Peak (CLD), and Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) have faced. It also has done the stock no harm to see management move in a similar direction to Penn Virginia Resource Partners (PVR) and prioritize diversification away from coal.

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