Ohio issues permits, second Century longwall planned in 2013

The Ohio Division of Mineral Resources Management issued two coal permits in November, both involving additional area for mines of Hopedale Mining LLC and OhioAmerican Energy Inc.

A division list of issued mine permits, updated to Dec. 1, showed these permits issued in November:

Hopedale Mining LLC, addition to permit for Hopedale Mine AA, issued Nov. 16. This is 536 acres of additional underground room-and-pillar mining in the #6A and #7 coal seams in Harrison County. Hopedale Mining is a unit of Rhino Resource Partners LP (NYSE: RNO) and has a Hopedale deep mine in Harrison County listed with the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration that produced 878,392 tons in the first nine months of this year.

Said Rhino about this operation in its March 15 Form 10-K report: “The Hopedale mining complex includes an underground mine located in Hopedale, Ohio approximately five miles northeast of Cadiz, Ohio. Coal produced from the Hopedale mine is first cleaned at our Nelms preparation plant located on the Ohio Central Railroad and the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad in Cadiz, Ohio and then shipped by train or truck to our customers. The infrastructure includes a full-service loadout facility. This underground mining operation produced approximately 1.3 million tons of steam coal for the year ended December 31, 2011.”

OhioAmerican Energy Inc., a permit was issued Nov. 30 for the North Star 2 strip operation in Jefferson County, with the new permit area covering 454 acres in the #8 and #8A coal seams. The same list shows the first North Star permit, covering 411 acres in the same seams, was issued in April 2011. OhioAmerican Energy is controlled by coal operator Robert Murray and has three mines listed with MSHA: Salt Run #1 surface (Jefferson County), Redbird South surface (Belmont County) and Marfank No. 2 deep (Jefferson County).

Rob Murray, the son of Robert “Bob” Murray, said in a Dec. 6 e-mail that North Star 2 is a separate job from Salt Run, and that the company is projecting to produce coal there in early 2013. It is projecting about 500,000 clean tons of output for OhioAmerican Energy in 2013.

Second longwall in the works for 2013 at Century

Also, Murray Energy‘s American Energy Corp. subsidiary has been planning for some time to add a second longwall to its big Century mine in the Pittsburgh seam, which is located in Monroe County, Ohio. Rob Murray said the second longall will be deployed in 2013. “We are projecting a rate of production of over 8 million clean tons in 2013, which is about what the mine will produce this year (an all-time record in the State of Ohio in terms of clean tons produced),” he added.

U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data shows that Century produced 6.6 million tons in the first three quarters of this year, ahead of a pace that saw 7.1 million tons of output in all of 2011. This high-sulfur coal is mostly sold to scrubbed power plants.

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.