Alpha’s Sidney Coal unit pursues Kentucky deep mine project

The Sidney Coal unit of Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) is pursuing a permit for a deep mine in Pike County, Ky., that would produce over 12.7 million tons of coal over its life.

The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection, which is considering a wastewater permit for this project, on May 15 issued a socioeconomic report written by the company. “The proposed project is an underground mining operation (KDNR Permit No. 898-4373),” said the report. “The project will be recovering coal reserves from the Cedar Grove coal seam. The proposed project includes the addition of 2,080.56 underground mining acres, the creation of one haul road, the road fill to facilitate the haul road, and one hill fill. This proposal does not include the addition of sediment structures, but will be utilizing the existing sediment structure D-002 on KDNR Permit No. 898-5167.”

The site is located near the junction of KY Route 119 and Road Fork Road in Pike County. The nearest community is Meta, which is about 6 miles southeast of the project site. This operation would provide employment for an estimated 40 people.

“The recovery of the Cedar Grove coal seam over the life of the project will produce over 12.7 million tons of coal,” the report added. “This will continue the generation of tax revenues. An estimated $32.9 million in severance taxes will be produced by this project, and the surrounding counties will receive an estimated total of $4.9 million dollars (15 percent) associated with the coal removing portions of this project.”

Sidney Coal is one of the companies that Alpha picked up in a June 2011 buy of Massey Energy. Alpha said about operations in this area in its Feb. 29 Form 10-K annual report: “Northern Kentucky produces coal from eight underground mines.  Northern Kentucky also operates three surface mines. These mines sell high Btu, low sulfur steam coal primarily to eastern utilities. The coal produced by the underground mines is transported by truck and overland belt to the Long Fork, Martin County, Sidney or Sprouse Creek preparation plants. At the preparation plant, the coal is cleaned, blended and loaded onto rail for shipment to customers. The coal produced by the surface mines is transported to one of our preparation plants or raw coal loading docks where it is blended and loaded onto rail for shipment to customers. During 2011, Northern Kentucky shipped 2.3 million tons.”

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.