The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Pittsburgh is taking comment until April 1 on a Section 404 Clean Water Act application from North Central Resources LLC for a new coal mining complex in Barbour County, W.Va.
The permit would cover stream impacts of this project. The complex will include a prep plant and an underground mine slope into the Lower Kittanning seam at a site in the Union District of Barbour County.
A permit number (O201312) shown in a map in the Corps notice for the refuse area for the complex matches a permit issued on Feb. 10 by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection for a 280-acre refuse area.
Another map in the Corps notice for the deep mine has a permit number (U201512) that matches a permit that the West Virginia DEP issued on Feb. 11 for a longwall-equipped deep mine in the Lower Kittanning seam. It is called the North Central Resources No. 1 Deep Mine. New longwall mines are pretty rare in the coal business, and more rarely still are developed by independent operators (except for Ohio-based coal producer Bob Murray).
The West Virginia Secretary of State’s corporate database shows the members of North Central Resources LLC as: American Metals & Coal International, which is a major international marketing company out of Greenwich, Conn.; JAZ Ventures LP of Latrobe, Pa.; and POSCO-NCR Coal Ltd., out of Vancouver, British Columbia. The organizer of the company was Kevin Bealko.
JAZ Ventures and POSCO-NCR don’t have their own separate corporate registrations in West Virginia.
- The JAZ Ventures listing at the Pennsylvania Department of State shows the company’s general partner as D. Scott Kroh, Trustee of the D. Scott Kroh Amended and Restated Revocable Trust. Kroh is a long-time veteran of the Pennsylvania coal business and worked for a while last decade at major coal producer Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR).
- Securities and Exchange Commission records show that POSCO-NCR is a subsidiary of Korean steelmaker POSCO, which sometimes take stakes in companies that supply it with iron ore and coal. British Columbia is a major supplier of metallurgical coal to the Pacific Rim market, including Korea, so basing a company there would be a natural extension of POSCO’s business.