The AMFIRE Mining Co. LLC unit of Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) is pursuing permits from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for the new Ainsley deep mine in South Mahoning and West Mahoning townships, Indiana County.
The DEP said in a notice in the July 14 Pennsylvania Bulletin that the company is pursuing a new underground mine permit and related NPDES water permit. The surface acres proposed for this operation are 117, with a proposed underground area and subsidence control plan area of 4,367.6 acres. Receiving streams for the water discharges will be Little Mahoning Creek and Ross Run. The application was considered administratively complete on June 26 and received in February 2011.
Also, AMFIRE is revising the permit for the Ondo mine in Brush Valley and Center townships, Indiana County, to add underground permit and subsidence control plan area acres. Underground acres proposed are 703.5, with 712.8 subsidence control plan acres. The application was considered administratively complete on June 19, with the application received in August 2011.
The Ainsley mine is not registered at this point with the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration. AMFIRE’s Ondo Extension deep mine in Indiana County produced 65,898 tons in the first quarter of this year and 295,172 tons all of 2011, according to MSHA data.
“Our AMFIRE business unit, within our NAPP region, consists of six underground mines operated by AMFIRE employees and thirteen surface mines, six of which are operated by independent contractors,” said Alpha’s Feb. 29 annual Form 10-K report. “Coal is mined primarily using continuous miners employing the room-and-pillar mining method at the underground mines and the truck and front-end loader method at our surface mines. We control approximately 99.4 million tons of coal reserves through our AMFIRE business unit. Approximately 30.6 million tons are assigned to active mines and approximately 68.8 million tons are unassigned. … The mines sell high Btu, low, medium, and high sulfur coal to eastern utilities and steel companies. All of the underground mining operations at AMFIRE are staffed and operated by AMFIRE employees. The underground coal is delivered directly by truck to the customer, or transported to the Clymer or Portage coal preparation plants or raw coal loading docks where it is cleaned, blended and loaded onto rail, belt or truck for shipment to customers. The surface mined coal is delivered directly by truck to the customer or transported to the Clymer or Portage coal preparation plants or raw coal loading docks where it is blended and loaded onto rail, belt or truck for shipment to customers. During 2011, AMFIRE shipped 2.8 million tons.”