Alliance re-positions works at MC Mining operation in Kentucky

The MC Mining LLC unit of Alliance Resource Partners LP (NASDAQ: ARLP) is seeking a wastewater permit from the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection for an expanded mining project in Pike County.

The DEP on June 5 put out for public comment a May 22 socioeconomic report on the project written by the company. This project, which would discharge water into a stream called Scotts Branch, is also covered under Kentucky Department for Natural Resources mine permit #898-4085. The report describes this as a surface mining operation, though MC Mining currently only deep mines.

The project will directly facilitate 275 jobs, the report said. There are 3.2 million tons of recoverable coal remaining within the permitted area, with the company’s estimated tax revenue for government from mining of that coal based on a $52/ton estimated spot market price as of May 22.

Said Alliance’s Feb. 28 Form 10-K report about this operation: “The MC Mining complex is located near the city of Pikeville in Pike County, Kentucky. We acquired the mine in 1989. Our subsidiary, MC Mining, LLC (‘MC Mining’), owns the mining complex and leases the reserves, and [Excel Mining LLC] conducts all mining operations. The underground operation utilizes continuous mining units employing room-and-pillar mining techniques to produce low-sulfur coal. In 2011, Excel began development mining in a new area containing in excess of ten million saleable tons of coal, to which all mining will transition in 2012. The preparation plant has throughput capacity of 1,000 tons of raw coal per hour.’

The Form 10-K added: “Substantially all of the coal produced at MC Mining in 2011 met or exceeded the compliance requirements of Phase II of the CAA [Clean Air Act]. Coal produced from the mine is shipped via the CSX railroad directly to customers or to various transloading facilities on the Ohio River for sale to customers capable of receiving barge deliveries, or by truck via U.S. and state highways directly to customers or to various docks on the Big Sandy River for shipment to customers capable of receiving barge deliveries.”

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.