ICG Hazard seeks permit on new Kentucky coal mine

The ICG Hazard LLC unit of Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) is seeking a wastewater permit from the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection on a mine project in Breathitt County that will produce about 50,000 tons of coal per month for five years.

The DEP put the application, including a socioeconomic report written by the company, out for public comment on April 27. The project will be located near Clayhole in Breathitt County and wastewater will flow into Nix Branch of Troublesome Creek. The project will directly employ 44 hourly and seven salaried workers.

As a result of the project, a pre-1977 highwall on the property will be reclaimed, along with other parts of the property left unreclaimed after prior mining. “The amount of coal to be mined in the permit area is approximately 50,000 tons per month,” said the socioeconomic report. “The expected life of the mining is 5 years.” The project would also be covered by Kentucky Department for Natural Resources mine permit #813-5025.

ICH Hazard is one of the operations that Arch Coal picked up in a June 2011 purchase of International Coal Group. Arch said about these operations in its Feb. 29 annual Form 10-K report: “Hazard/Flint Ridge is a mining complex that consists of four surface mines, an underground mining complex, a preparation plant, a unit train loadout and other support facilities located on approximately 115,000 acres in eastern Kentucky. The coal from Hazard’s mines is being extracted from the Hazard 10, Hazard 9, Hazard 8, Hazard 7 and Hazard 5A seams. Nearly all of the surface-mined coal is marketed as a blend of shipped direct product with the remainder being processed at the Flint Ridge preparation plant. The underground coal is all processed. Coal is transported by on-highway trucks from the mines to the rail loadout, which is served by CSX. Some coal is direct shipped to the customer by truck. A majority of the coal reserves are owned; the remainder are held through private leases. The mining complex had approximately 65.2 million tons of proven and probable reserves at December 31, 2011, which could sustain current production levels until at least 2030.”

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.