The AMFIRE Mining Co. LLC of Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR) has applied to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for an expansion to the existing permit for the Ehrenfeld surface mine, to conduct surface coal mining, auger and or highwall mining activities.
The application also includes a request to conduct overburden blasting, the DEP said in a Dec. 4 public notice. The current 726.3-acre operation is to be expanded by adding coal acreage to the existing mine which is located on Unnamed Tributaries to the Little Conemaugh River to the Little Conemaugh River to the Conemaugh River in Croyle and East Taylor townships, Cambria County. The proposed operation is located on the lands of Alpha Land & Reserves LLC and Pristine Resources, north and west of Ehrenfeld, Pa. The amount of coal acreage to be added to the existing permit area is as follows:
- Upper Freeport seam – add 15.6 acres of surface mining;
- Lower Freeport seam – add 22.1 acres of surface mining and 12.3 acres of auger mining or 45.3 acres of highwall miner coal removal; and
- Upper Kittanning seam – add 22.9 acres of surface mining and 3.4 acres of auger mining.
There is no mine with the name of Ehrenfeld listed under AMFIRE at the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, with the mine possibly going by another name.
Said Alpha about the AMFIRE operation in its Feb. 19 annual Form 10-K report: “Our AMFIRE business unit, within our NAPP region, consists of six underground mines operated by AMFIRE employees and thirteen surface mines, six of which are operated by independent contractors. … The mines sell high Btu, low, medium, and high sulfur coal to eastern utilities and steel companies. All of the underground mining operations at AMFIRE are staffed and operated by AMFIRE employees. The underground coal is delivered directly by truck to the customer, or transported to the Clymer or Portage coal preparation plants or raw coal loading docks where it is cleaned, blended and loaded onto rail, belt or truck for shipment to customers. The surface mined coal is delivered directly by truck to the customer or transported to the Clymer or Portage coal preparation plants or raw coal loading docks where it is blended and loaded onto rail, belt or truck for shipment to customers. During 2011, AMFIRE shipped 2.8 million tons.”