The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said in a June 21 public notice that an application by Spring Creek Energy Co. LLC has been marked technically complete for a new surface mine in Nicholas County.
This permit, #S302210, would allow the surface mining of coal by highwall and auger mining methods in the Eagle-Kanawha seam and the construction of one primary haulroad and an on-bench haulroad. The public notice marks the fact that the November 2010 application for a permit on the 63-acre Rock Camp No. 1 mine has completed a review in a DEP field office and moved on June 21 to the agency’s main office for what should be a quick final approval. This is the only pending mine permit application for Spring Creek Energy.
The only issued mine permits in the Spring Creek Energy name is one deep mine permit issued in 1990 that has cleared Phase 1 reclamation bond release, and a May 2011 permit for the Sewell No. 1 room-and-pillar mine in the Sewell seam. This newer mine is located near Craigsville in Nicholas County and the DEP database shows it as “active, no coal removed.”
U.S. Office of Surface Mining data shows Francis McCullough III as the 70% owner of Spring Creek Energy. U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data shows that the deep mine, called Curtain Sewell No. 1 by MSHA, was listed with that agency in March 2011, and that Rock Camp No. 1 was listed on Feb. 28. Both mines are shown by MSHA as new operations with no recorded production yet.