Alpha’s White Flame Energy seeks rare new coal mining permit

The White Flame Energy Inc. unit of Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) applied June 21 at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection on a mine permit for the Millstone Branch strip mine, to be located near Delbarton in Mingo County.

The application covers 632 acres, which includes acres for area mining and for a haulroad. The mine, which would have three valley fills, would work the Coalburg, 5 Block and Stockton coal seams and associated seam splits. This is the only pending mine permit application for White Flame Energy at the DEP. It usually takes at least a year, and often much more, from the time an application is filed until the DEP issues the mine permit.

White Flame Energy doesn’t get new permits often. The DEP database shows that the newest one currently held by the company was issued in May 2003 for the 1,180-acre Surface Mine #10 in Mingo County, which is shown by the DEP as “active, moving coal.”

White Flame Energy has two operations, the “active” Superior and No. 9 surface mines, currently registered with the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration. White Flame Energy is one of the operations that Alpha bought in October 2005 from coal operator Don Nicewonder.

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.