The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Mobile, Ala., is taking comment into July on a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit revision application from Drummond Co. for new slurry area for its Shoal Creek coal mine in Jefferson County, Ala.
The proposed project is located on an approximately 400-acre parcel in Jefferson County within the Upper Black Warrior watershed.
Drummond wants the revision to cover construction of Slurry Impoundment No. 2. Drummond is requesting authorization for the discharge of fill material into waters of the U.S. for construction of the approximately 144-acre slurry impoundment, and its associated down gradient sediment basin. Slurry Impoundment No. 2 will receive coal processing waste material from the Shoal Creek mine’s existing coal processing plant located two miles to the northwest of the proposed project location.
Said the Drummond website about this operation: “Shoal Creek produces a medium-volatile, low-sulfur metallurgical coal exported all over the world through the Port of Mobile, Alabama. The quality of Shoal Creek’s coal is consistent with an ash range of 9 to 10.5 percent and sulfur of 0.80 percent. This coal is very desirable for its medium volatility and strong coking characteristics. The coal is mined underground using both longwall and continuous mining operations. The preparation plant is a 2,000-ton per hour plant that accommodates various sizes of coal and is capable of washing over 11 million raw tons of coal per year. Clean coal is stockpiled and then conveyed to a barge for load out. The barges are then taken to the Port of Mobile and loaded into vessels for worldwide distribution.”
U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data shows that Shoal Creek produced 642,992 tons in the first quarter of this year and 1.3 million tons in all of 2013.