Oxford Mining Co.-Kentucky LLC is seeking a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit for the 400-acre Geibel strip mine located west of Greenville in Muhlenberg County, Ky.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Louisville, Ky., will be taking public comment on the application until Nov. 5.
“The proposed project area, approved by the Kentucky Divison of Mine Permits (KDMP) Permit No. 889-0130, is a 400 acre surface coal mining operation using a combination of the open strip pit method and highwall mining,” said a Corps public notice. “Only 1.72 acres of the project site have been previously mined.”
The proposed excavated area will fill 6,174 linear feet of ephemeral streams and 13,225 linear feet of intermittent streams, for a total of 19,399 linear feet of stream impacts. About 2.62 acres of Palustrine Emergent wetlands and 0.68 acre of Palustrine Scrub-Shrub wetlands will be filled for a total of 3.3 acres of wetlands. About 1.04 acres of open water will also be filled. All economically recoverable coal will be removed during the excavation of the area, processed and sold.
Oxford avoided a total of 41,230.4 linear feet of streams and 3.93 acres of wetlands by adjusting the permit boundary. Because of the coal geology in the area and the topography of the site, it was not possible to totally avoid stream and wetland impacts and still have a viable mining operation, the Corps noted. The applicant proposes to mitigate stream impacts by creating a total of 13,225 linear feet of intermittent streams and 6,174 linear feet of ephemeral streams.
Oxford Mining Co.-Kentucky is a unit of Ohio-based Oxford Resource Partners LP (NYSE: OXF). The Corps is also taking public comment until Nov. 2 on a Section 404 application from the company for a 214-acre addition to the Rose France strip mine located southeast of Central City in Muhlenberg County.
Oxford Resource Partners has recently cut back its western Kentucky coal output and shifted some of the mine equipment from that region to its Ohio mines due to soft markets and the loss earlier this year of a contract to supply 800,000 tons per year to Big Rivers Electric. Oxford and Big Rivers are battling in a Kentucky court about that contract termination. Oxford’s western Kentucky mines have other business with customers like Louisville Gas & Electric.