The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said in a June 4 public notice that it has gotten an application for an Article 11/West Virginia National Pollutant Discharge Elimination water permit from Mid-Vol Coal Sales for a deep mine project in McDowell County.
The permit is needed “in order to operate the No. 4 Deep Mine and haulroad and discharge treated water and stormwater runoff into Leslie Branch of the Tug Fork River,” said the notice. The DEP database shows that an August 2009 application for a companion mine permit on the No. 4 operation, a room-and-pillar job in the Pocahontas No. 4 coal seam, was still pending as of June 4.
Mid-Vol Coal Sales, a unit of international steel giant ArcelorMittal, has seven other pending mine permit applications at the DEP, all located in McDowell County and involving mining of various splits of the Pocahontas seam, which in this area holds a high-quality metallurgical coal. They are:
- the 783-acre Easter Ridge strip job;
- the 258-acre White Vulture No. 1 strip job;
- the 513-acre Dan’s Branch strip job;
- the 350-acre Blue Falcon strip job;
- the 359-acre Low Gap Branch strip job;
- the 181-acre Grey Eagle strip job; and
- the Jenkin Jones room-and-pillar deep mine in the Pocahontas No. 4 seam.
The ArcelorMittal Princeton (AMP) properties are in McDowell County and in Tazewell County, Va., about 30 miles west of Princeton, W.Va., where AMP’s corporate office is located, said ArcelorMittal’s Feb. 22 annual Form 20-F filing at the SEC. The properties consist of two operating areas: the Low Vol operations and the Mid Vol operations.
The larger Low Vol operations are located in McDowell County, near the communities of Northfork, Keystone, Eckman, Gary, Berwind, and War. The Eckman Plant, Dans Branch Loadout, Eckman 2 and Redhawk 1 surface mines are also located here, as well as these deep mines: XMV Nos. 32, 35, 36, 37, 39, 40 and 42.
The Mid Vol operations are in southeastern McDowell County and northwestern Tazewell County. The nearest communities are Horsepen and Abbs Valley, Va., as well as Anawalt, W.Va. The mine operations office is located at Horsepen, Va., near the Mid Vol operations.
The combined production of these mines in 2011 was 2.4 million tonnes of washed and directly shippable coal.