Two underground coal mines that could employ up to 650 workers are under development in western Kentucky, a county offi cial said.
McLean County Judge-Executive Larry Whitaker told the Messenger-Inquirer
of Owensboro that Massey Energy and Buck Creek Resources are developing the mines.
Whitaker said this week that Massey plans to begin work within 10 days on a mine near Delaware on the Daviess-McLean county line that will employ up to 250 miners. Miners will extract 2.2 million tons of coal over 20 years. He said Buck Creek plans to develop a larger mine near Rumsey that could employ up to 400 miners to extract 3.2 million tons of coal.
Both mines could both be producing coal within two years, Whitaker says, but the Delaware mine is ahead in the permitting process.
Whitaker said 20,000 acres in McLean, Webster and Hopkins counties are leased to Buck Creek for the operation.
He said McLean County offi- cials have been working with state officials and Massey for weeks to resolve issues so that the mines can be developed and the Fiscal Court plans a special meeting on Dec. 30 to provide assurances concerning the use and availability of roads, water and rights of way.
“It’s going to be a pretty good operation for this whole area,” McLean County Magistrate Jimmy Igleheart said. “They’ve bought several acres. I think it’ll be a good boost.”
Massey Energy announced in 2007 its intent to expand into western Kentucky, purchasing coal reserves on the McLean and Daviess county lines with plans to construct an underground mine, preparation plant and barge loading facility.
“This acquisition is giving us an opportunity to get in a market focused on Illinois Basin coal, and it also gives us river access to the utilities on the Ohio River system,” a Massey Energy Co. official said at the time.