Armstrong Coal permits Midway South mine area

Armstrong Coal is pursuing a wastewater permit from the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection on the Midway South mine project, to also be covered by state Department for Natural Resources mine permit #892-0117.

The DEP on Oct. 30 put out for comment an Oct. 23 socioeconomic report on the project written by the company. The proposed project is located in Ohio County north of US 62 and east of KY 85. The total surface area of the proposed project is 1,025 acres. The nearest community is McHenry, which is located 1 mile east of the proposed project. Unnamed tributaries of Southards Creek, Lewis Creek, and West Fork Lewis Creek are the receiving streams for the proposed water discharges from the site.

Approximately 150 workers will remain employed on this project. Based on annual coal production of 1.2 million tons per year at $55 per ton as an assumed sales price, the project would contribute nearly $1.2m per year in coal severance tax for the county, the company said.

A portion of the Midway South project area has been previously timbered and mined and left with little or no reclamation. The entire permit area will be reclaimed following the conclusion of mining, providing an enhanced habitat and environment, Armstrong wrote.

Armstrong Energy, the parent of Armstrong Coal, said about this operation in a May 30 filing at the SEC: “The Midway mine is a surface mine located two miles southeast of Centertown, Kentucky in Ohio County and is west of and adjacent to the Midway Preparation Plant. The Midway mine commenced production in April 2008 and extracts thermal coal from the West Kentucky #13a, #13, and #11 seams. Stripping ratios for coal that has not undergone any processing, or ‘run-of-mine’ coal, at the Midway mine are favorable and averaged approximately 11-to-1 in 2011. The Midway mine produced approximately 1.6 million tons of clean coal in 2011 and is currently equipped with one dragline (45 yard bucket) and a spread of surface mining equipment, including power shovels, excavators, loaders and haul trucks. Our reserve studies have indicated that the Midway mine has approximately 21 million tons of proven and probable reserves. Coal from the Midway mine is transported less than one mile to the Midway Preparation Plant for processing, where it is then shipped to customers via truck, rail or barge.”

Armstrong Coal has been pursuing a wastewater permit from the DEP for a 146.5-acre area called Midway North, also located in Ohio County. The DEP on Oct. 15 issued for comment a socioeconomic report on the project. The report said this mine will employ 120 miners and will be covered under amendment #1 of Kentucky DNR mine permit #892-9000. That permit belongs to the existing Midway strip mine.

The estimated tax revenue from the Midway North project for government is based on 1.2 million tons per year of production at an assumed sales price of $55/ton.

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.