The Illinois Office of Mines and Minerals on April 6 approved the addition of a total of 1,380 acres of new underground “shadow area” to the permit for the Wildcat Hills deep mine of Peabody Arclar Mining LLC, a unit of Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU).
The new acres are in two separate parcels along the west side of the current mine area, located in Saline County. The permit covers continued room-and-pillar mining for this operation.
The original application for this permit revision said the mine would produce up to 850,000 tons per year initially, then up to 1.75 million tons per year with two mining units operating. Full production would mean a mine lifespan out to around 2025, with about 32 million tons of coal produced over the life of the mine, the application said.
U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data shows that the Wildcat Hills deep mine produced 1 million tons in 2011, up from 748,814 tons in 2010. Peabody Energy’s Feb. 27 annual Form 10-K report said this mine had 21 million tons of proven and probable coal reserves as of the end of 2011.