MCLEAN COUNTY, Ky. (7/3/13) – At a time when President Barack Obama is vowing to do more to implement efforts to reduce the amount of coal used in the U.S., at least one company is pressing ahead with plans to mine coal in the region.
Rhino Resource Partners VP of Investor Relations Scott Morris told SurfKY News today that the company is in the early stages of developing approximately 12,000 acres in McLean and Daviess counties to serve as a coal mine facility, with the entrance in McLean County. (Taxes generated by the sale of coal are typically collected in the county where the mine entrance is located.)
Morris said despite the Obama administration’s stance on coal as an energy source, the company is operating under current environmental policies.
“It’s hard to tell what to expect at this point,” Morris said. “We still think coal has a place for … energy production.”
Morris said the mine is expected to open in June 2014 with production estimates starting at 800,000 annually, based on a contract Rhino has with an unnamed utility company. He added that as more contracts are signed with other companies for coal purchases, the amount mined could climb as high as two million tons annually, possibly as early as 2017.
Initially, the mine will employ almost 70 people in full-time positions. If the plant reaches anticipated maximum production rate, the number of workers could nearly quadruple to closer to 250 full-time, Morris said.
Rhino Resource Partners is based in Lexington.
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