Ramaco pursues air permit for new Wyoming coal mine

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality is taking comment until Jan. 22 on its proposed approval of a request by Ramaco Wyoming Coal Co. LLC for an air permit allowing it to establish the Brook Mine, a surface and highwall coal mine which is projected to produce two million tons of coal per year.

The Brook Mine is to be located about six miles north of Sheridan in Sheridan County. Coal and overburden is proposed to be removed using bulldozers, rubber-tired front-end loaders and trucks from the surface mine. Continuous miners along with a conveyor system will be utilized to mine coal from the highwall mining operation. The mine is anticipated to have 12 years of coal production. Coal will be shipped by railcar from the mine to industrial customers.

The project will feature something called “trench mining,” where a trench is created with surface mining equipment through the coal seam, then a highwall miner works the exposed highwalls along the sides of the trench. A highwall miner burrows back ino the coal seam, spitting coal back onto a conveyor system that is attached to the back of the miner and leads out of the hole into the open air.

Coal from both highwall and surface mining will be hauled with covered side-dump trucks to a completely enclosed truck dump and 20,000-ton coal storage facility. In the initial years of coal production (Phase 1), coal will be dumped inside the building and moved by a loader to a coal storage pile. From the storage pile the coal will be pushed by a dozer into a feeder/breaker. Dust from coal dumping, handling, and surface reclaim inside the building will be controlled by water spray and a baghouse. Dust from the feeder/breaker will be controlled with an atomizer/fogger system. From the feeder/breaker the coal will be conveyed to a secondary crusher, which will also be controlled with an atomizer/fogger system.

The crushed coal will be routed by conveyor to the loadout where it will be loaded onto railcars on a BNSF Railway line that runs through the property. Transfer points along the conveyor will be controlled with passive enclosure control systems.

New coal mines are rarely permitted in Wyoming, which is dominated by several huge coal mines in the Powder River Basin.

The company contact is: Randall Atkins, Chief Executive Officer, 1101 Sugarview Drive, Sheridan, WY 82801, Phone (307) 674-8000.

That same address is on the website of Lexington, Ky.-based Ramaco LLC, which says about itself: “RAMACO and its subsidiaries and affiliates are currently reorganizing its corporate structure to create a separate, but affiliated, operating company focused on metallurgical coal development opportunities. Therefore, during this pending corporate reorganization, RAMACO’s website is currently under construction. We look forward to introducing our new website soon.”

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.