Arch Coal unit pursues mine permits in northern West Virginia

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said in an April 9 public notice that the ICG Eastern LLC unit of Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) is pursuing a deep mine permit at a site in Nicholas County.

The application, U200412, is for a new Article 3 permit for the surface disturbance of about 19.1 acres in order to face up a deep mine and construct a haulroad, with the mine to work the Lower Winifrede coal seam. DEP records show that this application for the Winifrede No. 1 room-and-pillar job was filed with the agency on Feb. 27. The public notice marks the fact the application is now administratively complete, which means the blanks have been filled in properly and it can now get full processing.

ICG Eastern has two other applications pending with the DEP’s mining division for operations in this region:

  • an August 2010 application for the Birch River Operations Facility, which includes a haulroad, beltline and prep plant near Cowen in Webster County; and
  • a June 2010 application for the 202-acre 82 East strip mine in Webster County.

ICG Eastern is one of the operations that Arch picked up in a June 2011 buy of International Coal Group. Arch described the operation this way in its Feb. 29 annual Form 10-K report: “Eastern operates one surface mine and one underground mine, located on approximately 21,000 acres in Webster and Nicholas County, West Virginia. The Eastern complex is surface mining coal from the Freeport, Upper Kittanning, Middle Kittanning, Upper Clarion and Lower Clarion coal seams, and deep mining coal from the Stockton seam. We control a significant portion of the coal reserves through private leases. The Eastern mining complex had approximately 8.4 million tons of proven and probable reserves at December 31, 2011. The mine is expected to operate through at least 2017. Approximately twenty percent of the production from the surface mine is shipped direct, while the other eighty percent is washed at the complex’s 700 ton-per-hour preparation plant. Coal is transported by conveyor belt from the preparation plant to the rail loadout, which is served by CSX via the A&O Railroad, a short-line carrier that is partially owned by CSX.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.