Arch Coal’s Vindex unit nears permits for new deep mine

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said in an April 13 public notice that the Vindex Energy unit of Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) is seeking an Article 11/West Virginia National Pollutant Discharge Elimination permit for a haulroad and a deep mine in the Bakerstown coal seam.

The Stony North deep mining operation will discharge treated water and stormwater into an unnamed tributary of Stony River and Stony River of the North Branch of the Potomac River. The permit area is located in Grant County. The application for this permit was filed in October 2010. The public notice marks the fact that on April 13 the application moved from a DEP regional office to the main office for final approval.

Besides this application with the DEP’s water division, Vindex applied in October 2010 with the DEP’s mining division for a mine permit on the Stony North room-and-pillar project. That permit is also getting fairly close to being issued, DEP records show. The only other pending application that Vindex has with the mining division was filed March 21 for the A-34 Refuse Pit, located along the Grant/Tucker county line near Bayard.

Arch Coal, which got Vindex in a June 2011 buy of International Coal Group, said about this operation in its Feb. 29 annual Form 10-K report: “The Vindex mining complex consists of four surface mines located on approximately 42,400 acres in Garrett and Allegany Counties, Maryland. Mining operations at these surface mines extract coal from the Upper Freeport, Middle Kittanning, Pittsburgh, Little Pittsburgh and Redstone seams. In addition, Vindex operates one underground mine, in the Bakerstown seam of coal, and a preparation plant located in Grant and Tucker Counties, West Virginia. We control all of the coal reserves through private leases. As of December 31, 2011 we had approximately 17.9 million tons of proven and probable reserves. Without the addition of more coal reserves, the current reserves could sustain current production levels until at least 2025.”

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.