Blaschak Coal expands mining operations in Pennsylvania

Blaschak Coal Corp., a producer of anthracite coal in Pennsylvania, said Sept. 16 that it is expanding mining activities into two new locations in the anthracite coal measures of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The addition of the two new locations means increased coal reserves for the company, additional capacity to produce run of mine coal at favorable mine ratios and operating costs, and critical flexibility to optimize production for quality assurance and cost of production.

  • Blaschak said it has executed a long-term lease to mine a significant reserve in the Mt. Carmel area of Columbia County. The company will re-locate a Marion 7450 Dragline to this location, as well as acquire a fleet of equipment to move into full operation on this site by the end of 2015.
  • The second location is near Hazleton. Blaschak is currently mining in this location with a Manitowic 4600 Dragline. First coal production from this site occurred in August 2015.

The additional capacity will permit the company flexibility in operations, giving Blaschak five active mine locations containing high quality reserves, the company said. The reserve additions are expected to add as much as three million tons of clean coal. The expansion coincides with release of a study suggesting that the carbon footprint of anthracite is smaller than that of traditional metallurgical coke.

“The expanded mining operations reflect our strategic belief in the value of anthracite in existing and emerging market applications,” said Greg Driscoll, president and CEO of Blaschak Coal. “We’re excited to increase our mining capacity, extending the environmental benefits afforded by our re-mining and reclamation, and providing confirmation of our belief that Pennsylvania anthracite has favorable environmental impacts when used in place of alternatives in domestic steelmaking.”

The study, prepared by Dr. Harold Schobert of Schobert International LLC, compared the carbon footprints of using traditional metallurgical coke relative to using Pennsylvania-produced, high-Btu anthracite as a fuel and reducing agent in U.S. domestic steelmaking operations. The study confirmed that the use of Pennsylvania anthracite over metallurgical coke significantly reduces CO2 emissions, thereby minimizing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. In fact, replacing coke with anthracite in a single Electric Arc Furnace can reduce carbon dioxide by as much as 95,000 tons, the company added.

Blaschak Coal said it is one of the few fully integrated U.S. anthracite companies with a large reserve base, multiple mines and preparation plants, a bagging plant, both rail and truck loading facilities, and extensive marketing operations serving a wide range of end markets, including home heating, steel and water filtration.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.