Mid-Vol Coal Sales pursues additional coal mine permit

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said in a Sept. 7 public notice that its mining division has gotten an application from the Mid-Vol Coal Sales unit of steelmaker ArcelorMittal for a new deep mine permit in McDowell County.

The application, #U302112, would cover a face up for a deep mine in the Pocahontas No. 9 seam, the notice said. The application was filed July 27 for this mine, called the Eckman 9 Seam job and located near Eckman. The public notice marks the fact that on Sept. 5, the application was deemed as administratively complete, which means all the blanks have been filled in properly and it can get months of further processing.

Mid-Vol Coal Sales has a total of six applications pending for surface mine permits and two for deep mine permits, two of them dating back to May 2009 and all of them covering mines in McDowell County. The surface mine applications cover: the 841-acre Easter Ridge mine; the 258-acre Green Eagle No. 1 job; the 513-acre Dan’s Branch mine; the 350-acre Blue Falcon operation; the 359-acre Low Gap Branch mine; and the 181-acre Grey Eagle job. The pending deep mine application other than the one for Eckman 9 Seam covers the Jenkin Jones room-and-pillar job in the Pocahontas No. 4 seam.

The newest mine permit issued to Mid-Vol Coal Sales came out on Aug. 27 and covers the No. 4 room-and-pillar deep mine, to work the Pocahontas No. 4 at a site near Thorpe in McDowell County. Before that, on April 4, the DEP issued the mine permit for the 360-acre State Line strip job, located near Jenkinjones in McDowell County. Another ArcelorMittal unit, Extra Energy, was approved on July 19 as the operator of the strip mine. DEP records indicate that work on both of these new mine sites hasn’t started yet.

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 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.

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.