The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection went out May 10 for public comment on a wastewater permit for River View Coal LLC’s mine in Union County, which is one of the largest underground coal mines in the U.S.
The company said in a socioeconomic report on this permitting that it will allow the construction of a new ventilation shaft for this western Kentucky mine, preserving the jobs of 620 miners. The operation is also covered by a Kentucky Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement (DMRE) permit.
“There are an estimated 70,000,000 recoverable tons remaining within the DMRE # 913-5015 permitted boundary,” said the socioeconomic report. “Current coal spot market prices as of March 22, 2013 have been estimated at $64.96 per short ton. The severance tax rate for coal in Kentucky is 4.50% of the gross market value. The proposed project will aid in producing approximately $204,624,000 in tax dollars at current coal spot market prices over the life of the facilitated mine (70,000,000*$64.96*0.045).”
River View Coal is a unit of Alliance Resource Partners LP, which said about this operation its March 1 annual Form 10-K report: “In July 2007, we began construction of an underground mining complex to access the reserves. Production began in August 2009. River View utilizes continuous mining units employing room-and-pillar mining techniques to produce high-sulfur coal. River View’s preparation plant has throughput capacity of 1,800 tons of raw coal per hour. Coal produced from the River View mine is transported by overland belt to a barge loading facility on the Ohio River.”
Production at the mine has grown rapidly, with U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data showing output of 2.4 million tons in the first quarter of this year, 8.6 million tons in all of 2012 and 7.6 million tons in all of 2011.