McWane gets Alabama permit for new surface coal mine

The Alabama Surface Mining Commission issued a mine permit on May 18 to McWane Inc. for the 227-acre Burton Bend No. 2 strip mine in Walker County.

Out of that 227-acre area, about 213 will be mining acres and 14 acres will be roads, ponds, office and equipment storage areas. There are no faults within the permit area, said a geology report that was part of the original application. The coal seams to be mined at this site will be the Jefferson and Black Creek. The Jefferson has a raw dry sulfur content of 4%, while the Black Creek is at 0.8%.

The Jefferson and Black Creek will be mined as deep as economically possible. The Jefferson averages 1 foot in thickness, with 76 feet of average overburden on top of the seam, with the Black Creek at 2.8 feet of thickness and 124 feet of average overburden.

Once uncovered, the coal will be broken by loader and loaded on trucks for shipment to an offsite location. No coal processing or cleaning will be necessary at the site. All coal not shipped will be stockpiled onsite for future shipment.

The application shows that the Burton Bend No. 2 job will be covered by U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration ID #01-03058, which was originally issued in 1995. The MSHA database shows no current mines listed under McWane and no current listing for that ID number.

The mine permit application was signed by James Hansen as Vice President of the company. The U.S. Office of Surface Mining database shows the company as 60% owned by C. McWane, with Hansen listed as a Vice President. No other owning parties are shown by OSM.

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.