Cambrian Coal seeks Kentucky coal project permit

Cambrian Coal is seeking a wastewater permit from the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection on a surface mine in Pike County that would produce 1.7 million tons of coal over about five years.

The DEP on Aug. 14 put out for comment a July 31 socioeconomic report on the project written by the company. It would also be covered by Kentucky Department for Natural Resources mine permit #898-0846.

This proposed project is located on Red Creek and covers about 111.2 acres. The nearest community is Sutton, which is 2.9 miles to the southeast. This proposed operation is expected to provide for approximately 20 jobs directly.

“The acreage of KDNR Permit No. 898-0846 is estimated to allow the recovery of a total of 1.7 million tons of coal over 5 years,” said the report. “This will generate approximately $88 million of taxable profit, of which the surrounding counties will receive a total of over $13 million (15 percent).”

Cambrian Coal had also recently been seeking a wastewater permit from the DEP on the Adams Branch strip job, located near Ashcamp in Pike County. This project is covered by Amendment No. 1 to DNR mine permit #898-0806, said an April 30 socioeconomic report on the project released by the DEP on May 10 and signed by company Secretary J. Mark Campbell. The entire surface area of the project is about 667.2 acres, with 67.8 of this being new acreage. This mining operation would continue to provide employment for about 20 employees.

“The addition of acreage to KDNR Permit No. 898-0806 is estimated to allow the recovery of a total of 29 million tons of coal over 5 years,” said the report. “This will generate approximately $1.8 billion of taxable profit, of which the surrounding counties will receive a total of over $266 million (15 percent).”

Cambrian has no mines currently registered with the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration under that corporate name. U.S. Office of Surface Mining data shows that the company is 50% owned by Jim Booth, who is one of the largest independent coal producers in eastern Kentucky, 30% owned by Ted McGinnis and 20% by Campbell.

Booth has been in the news lately because he needs to produce at some point 9 million tons per year of coal in Central Appalachia to supply an Indian company. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear announced Aug. 15 that New Jersey-based FJS Energy LCC signed a 25-year, $7bn contract with India’s Abhijeet Group to purchase coal exports from Kentucky and West Virginia through Kentucky-based affiliates FJSE Marshall Inc. and FJSE River Coal. Jim Booth’s Booth Energy Group would supply that coal.

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.