The Montana Department of Environmental Quality was taking public comment until Jan. 7 on its plan to issue an air permit to Wolf Mountain Coal for a stoker coal processing facility at Cloud Peak Energy’s Spring Creek coal mine.
The proposed facility is to be located approximately 7 miles north of Decker, Montana, adjacent to the Spring Creek mine. The legal site location description of this facility is the Northwest 1⁄4 of Section 18, Township 8 South, Range 40 East in Big Horn County.
The facility will have a coal processing throughput capacity of approximately 240 tons per hour and 250,000 tons per year. This would be a fraction of Spring Creek’s production, with U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data showing that the mine produced 13 million tons in the first nine months of 2013 and 17.2 million tons in all of 2012.
“The proposed coal processing facility will process crushed coal from the Spring Creek Mine to produce sized coal products for sale and distribution via the road trucks,” said a DEQ permitting notice. “Raw coal will be delivered by way of side-dump trucks and discharged into the partially enclosed truck dump, equipped with a sloped grizzly screen to separate oversize products (≥ 8”). Sub-eight inch coal will be received into the feed hopper while larger coal will be deposited on the backside of the truck dump to be sold as lump coal.”
Also, the DEQ is out for comment until Feb. 10 on a Spring Creek Coal LLC application to revise Spring Creek’s mining permit to add approximately 68 million tons of recoverable coal reserves inside the current mine permit boundary.