Oxford Mining Co.-Kentucky LLC is seeking a wastewater permit from the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection on an extension of a surface mine located near Cleaton and Central City in Muhlenberg County.
The DEP put the application, including a socioeconomic report written the company, out for public comment on May 2. This project, which would impact unnamed tributaries of Pond Creek, would also be covered by Amendment #1 of Kentucky Department for Natural Resources-issued mine permit #889-0153. Records show that permit number belongs to the Rose France strip mine, which, according to U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data, produced 209,581 tons in the first quarter of this year and 710,954 tons in all of 2011.
The proposed project will directly facilitate the continued employment of 60 people. There is an estimated 1,742,000 recoverable tons remaining within the permitted boundary, the socioeconomic report noted. Coal spot market prices were estimated at $81.60/ton in the report. The severance tax rate for coal in Kentucky is 4.5% of the gross market value. So the proposed project will produce approximately $6,396,624 in tax dollars at that spot market price over the life of the mine.
Oxford Mining Co.-Kentucky is a unit of Oxford Resource Partners LP, which said about this operation in its March 14 annual Form 10-K report: “The Muhlenberg County mining complex is located in Muhlenberg and McClean Counties, in western Kentucky, and currently consists of the Schoate, Highway 431, and Rose France mines. We began our mining operations at this mining complex in October 2009. Operations at the Muhlenberg County mining complex target the #5, #6, #9, #10, #11, #12 and #13 coal seams of the Illinois Basin. As of December 31, 2011, the Muhlenberg County mining complex included 22.1 million tons of proven and probable coal reserves. The infrastructure at this mining complex includes four coal crushers and our Island river terminal. Coal produced from this mining complex is usually crushed at the mine site and then trucked to our Island river terminal on the Green River or directly to the customer. Coal trucked to our Island river terminal is then transported to the customer by barge. This mining complex uses the area method of surface mining. This mining complex produced 2.2 million tons of steam coal during the year ended December 31, 2011.”