Eagle River Coal LLC, controlled by members of the Franks family, is pursuing a permit from the Illinois Office of Mines and Minerals for the 370-acre Mine No. 1 strip job in Saline County.
The application, under permit #425, was filed Sept. 20 and recently posted to the OMM website. Cultural resources were examined within a total 1,135-acre project area. Mine No. 1 would be located next to and will be an extension of a neighboring strip mine covered by permit #381, with that permit issued to Eagle River Coal in December 2009.
Covered by the pending Mine No. 1 application is 3 million to 4 million tons of coal reserves, to be produced at a projected maximum production level of 700,000 tons per year. The seams to be mined are the Cholchester (averages 0.7 feet in thickness in the project area), Dekoven (3 feet) and Davis (4 feet). The average overburden thickness in the mine area is 120 feet.
The application shows this new permit area will be covered by U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration #11-03212. That is the registration for the existing mine, permitted in 2009 under #381. MSHA data shows this mine produced 475,769 tons in the first nine months of this year and 300,914 tons in 2011, after a production start in the second quarter of 2011.
The application shows that the ownership of Eagle River Coal is: Franks LLC (50%), Thomas Ryan Franks (20%), Elizabeth Franks Pilcher (10%), Amanda Franks Holland (10%) and Thomas Walker Franks (10%).