A second longwall at the Century deep mine in Ohio began operations in August and will operate intermittently until around December 2015, when it will go into full operation along with the original longwall, said Murray Energy spokesman Gary Broadbent on Aug. 16.
Century is a major producer of coal out of the high-sulfur Pittsburgh seam, located near another Murray longwall mine, the Powhatan No. 6 operation. Broadbent couldn’t put a figure on any production increase the intermittent production status will mean for this second, smaller longwall. But it is safe to say there will be a major production increase when this longwall goes into full-time operation.
U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data shows that Century, listed under Murray Energy’s American Energy, produced 4.9 million tons in the first half of this year, 8.4 million tons in 2012 and 7.1 million tons in 2011.
Murray Energy, based in Ohio and controlled by coal operator Robert Murray, is the largest independent coal producer in the U.S., with operating mines in Utah, western Kentucky, Illinois and Ohio.
Incidentally, Murray Energy’s AmericanMountaineer Energy has been permitting since May 2010 at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection a new Pittsburgh-seam longwall mine in Harrison County, W.Va. That application is still pending.
Said a prior DEP notice about what is covered by this application: “This application is for an Article 3 Permit for the surface disturbance of approximately 117.0 acres in order to Construct and operate a Preparation Plant, Load-out, Haul Road, and Face Up a Deep Mine in the Pittsburgh seam of coal. This application will include mining activity associated with SMA No. U200410 within 100 feet of Harrison County Route 14, mining activity within 100 feet of Harrison County Route 20/27, and the temporary closure and relocation of Harrison County Route 20/27 from mile marker 0.10 to mile marker 0.62.”