The Alloa Coal Company was founded as a partnership in 1835 between William Mitchell, John Moubray, John Craich and David Ramsay. The partners obtained a lease to mine coal and ironstone on the lands of the Earl of Mar in Clackmannanshire. In the 1840s, Alloa coal was exported to Canada by the Ben Line in which Mitchell was a partner; the ships returned with Canadian timber.
The partnership was later managed by William Mitchell's sons Andrew and Alexander and had pits in Clackmannanshire, Stirlingshire, Fife and Perthshire. The partnership became a limited company in 1898, and was nationalised by the British Government in 1948.