Rhino unit nears permit for new West Virginia coal mine

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said in a Dec. 5 public notice that its mining division has gotten an application from the Central Appalachia Mining LLC unit of Rhino Resource Partners LP (NYSE: RNO) for a new surface mine in Mingo County.

This mine, under permit #S500811, covers the surface disturbance of approximately 395.28 acres in order to surface mine in all splits and riders of the Alma, Upper Cedar Grove, Middle Cedar Grove, Lower Cedar Grove and Williamson seams of coal.  The proposed operation would discharge into unnamed tributaries of Millseat Branch of Grapevine Creek, unnamed tributaries of Wolfpen Fork of Grapevine Creek and unnamed tributaries of Grapevine Creek of the Tug Fork River, and is located 3.4 miles northeast of Edgarton in Mingo County.

The public notice marks the fact that this August 2011 application for the Millseat surface mine on Dec. 4 cleared the agency’s technical review process. That means it is headed from a DEP field office to the main office for what should be a fairly quick final approval.

The only other mine permit application that Central Appalachia Mining had pending at the DEP was filed on Oct. 11 and covers the 46-acre Pond Creek Addition surface job. This operation, located near Edgarton in Mingo County, would involve contour, auger and highwall mining of the Eagle coal seam.

The newest mine permit issued to the company came out on April 19 and is for the 264-acre Grapevine South strip mine, located near Newtown in Mingo County. This mine, which the DEP database shows as not started yet, would work the Williamson, Alma and Cedar Grove coal seams.

Rhino’s operations in this region are listed with the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration under a variation of the Central Appalachia Mining name, which is CAM Mining LLC.

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.