Berkeley Energy pursues second underground coal mine in Ky.

Berkeley Energy Corp. is pursuing a wastewater permit from the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection for a deep mine in Pike County that would work the Upper Alma coal seam.

The DEP on April 17 put the permitting out for public notice and also released a socioeconomic report on the project signed by Berkeley Energy Vice President John Huff. This project would also be covered by Kentucky Department for Natural Resources mine permit No. 898-4378.

“The proposed project is an underground mining operation (KDNR Permit No. 898-4378), which will recover coal reserves from the Upper Alma coal seam,” said the report. “The project site is located approximately 1.2 miles east of Kimper in Pike County, Kentucky. The nearest road intersection is the junction of KY 632 and Marts Branch Road, approximately 0.25 miles west of the site.”

This operation will provide for the continuation of 40 higher-wage jobs in the area work force. Recovery of the coal on this project will produce over 960,000 tons of coal. This will generate over $3.48m in severance taxes, of which the surrounding counties will receive a total of over $522,000, the report noted.

Berkeley Energy has also lately been seeking a wastewater permit from the DEP on a new deep mine located about 1.2 miles south of Jamboree in Pike County. The DEP put out for public notice on April 4 a socioeconomic report on the project signed by Huff. The report said this project, working the Glamorgan seam, is also covered by Kentucky DNR permit No. 898-4449. It will employ about 50 workers.

“This deep mine facility will provide jobs in communities in this portion of Pike County and help prevent the loss of jobs when an existing area facility closes or moves to another area,” said the report. “Recovery of the coal on this project, located along Solomon Fork of Left Fork Peter Creek, will produce over 1.2 million tons of coal. This will generate over $4.1 million in severance taxes, of which the surrounding counties will receive a total of over $618,000 dollars (15 percent).”

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration database shows Berkeley Energy with two operations registered with that agency – the Plant No. 1 and No. 3 Mine facilities in Pike County – with neither of them currently in operation. MSHA shows the company as controlled by Huff.

The U.S. Office of Surface Mining database, which is more detailed than MSHA, shows Berkeley Energy as 100% owned by the Ross Harris Estate/Community Trust & Investment Co. Ross Harris was a prominent coal operator in this region who passed away several years ago. OSM shows the president of Berkeley Energy as John Harris, with Huff and Loren Turner listed as vice presidents.

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.