Oxford Mining seeks Corps permit for Ohio surface mine

The Oxford Mining Co. LLC unit of Oxford Resource Partners LP (NYSE: OXF) is pursuing a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit on the Speidel surface mine project in Belmont County, Ohio.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Huntington, W.Va., is taking public comment on the application until Dec. 28. Proposed discharges would occur in conjunction with the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) application 10457 currently under review by the Ohio Division of Natural Resources, Division of Mineral Resources Management.

An ODNR list of pending mine permit applications, updated to Nov. 1, shows that the application for the Speidel mine was filed in January 2011 and covers 554 acres. This is one of 18 applications that the company has pending with that agency for new surface mines or additions to existing ones. Oxford only runs surface mines.

The proposed project is located within unnamed tributaries and wetlands to Stillwater Creek in Goshen Township, Belmont County. “The applicant proposes to discharge: 670.8 cubic yards (cy) of fill material into 3,774 linear feet (lf) of four (4 ) perennial streams; 730.8 cy of fill material into 5,791 lf of twenty five (25) intermittent streams; 222.3 cy of fill material into 3,116 lf of seventeen (17) ephemeral streams, 3,807.5 cy of fill material into 2.36 acres of thirteen (13) wetlands, and 7,647 cy of fill material into 4.74 acres of six (6) in-stream impoundments,” said a Corps notice. “An additional 3,885 linear feet of stream would be affected by construction of the waste treatment system for the mining operation.”

Oxford within this permit area plans to mine coal reserves in the Waynesburg #11 and Meigs Creek #9 coal seams. It reviewed multiple mining methods for the proposed project and determined that contour mining using the box cut method, and auger mining using a conventional auger for both coal seams are the preferred method of mining, the Corps noted.

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.