Consolidation Coal Co. (CCC) applied May 15 at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to update a 2010 air permit for a coal preparation plant located in Harrison County at the Robinson Run longwall mine.
“CCC is submitting this request for a Class II Administrative Update to increase the maximum area for raw coal stockpile 1 (006) at the Robinson Run Preparation Plant,” the application said. “CCC intends to increase the maximum base area of the raw coal stockpile to 9.69 acres, with a maximum raw coal storage capacity of 750,000 tons. This change will allow for increased operational flexibility at the mine and will prevent CCC from having to stop underground mining during periods in which the preparation plant is overloaded. CCC notes, however, that maximum hourly and annual throughputs of the associated process equipment at the Robinson Run Preparation Plant will not increase as a result of this project.
“Operations at the Robinson Run Preparation Plant consist of conveying the raw coal procured from an existing mine portal to two (2) raw coal storage silos. From the raw coal storage silos, coal is conveyed to a breaker building, where the raw coal is screened and separated into two (2) distinct material streams: the refuse stream is crushed, conveyed to a rock storage bin, and ultimately transported to refuse storage piles by refuse trucks, and the ‘plant feed’ coal is conveyed to a raw coal storage silo and the raw coal stockpile, and ultimately transported to the wet wash preparation plant.
“Two types of material exit the preparation plant. The first type of material is refuse. The refuse is conveyed to one (1) of three (3) refuse storage bins before ultimately being transferred to the refuse disposal area via truck. The second type of material exiting the preparation plant is clean coal, which is raw coal that has been screened, sized, and washed in the preparation plant. From the wet wash preparation plant, clean coal is either conveyed to two (2) storage silos and ultimately loaded out via railcars or transported to the Harrison Power Station.”
Harrison is a nearby power plant controlled by FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE).
Incidentally, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Pittsburgh is taking comment until June 26 on a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit application from Consolidation Coal covering new refuse disposal area for the Robinson Run mine. This is one of the mines, working the high-sulfur Pittsburgh coal seam, that CONSOL Energy (NYSE: CNX) sold earlier this decade to Murray Energy. The application covers raising the crest of an existing impoundment area, allowing more storage of refuse from the mine. This extra area will cover the mine for the rest of its planned life, the Corps noted.
The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration reports that Robinson Run produced 2 million tons in the first quarter of this year, and 6.7 million tons in all of 2014.