Mines are closing and the coal industry is facing a run of bankruptcies and other bad news, but a company backed by a $90 million investment is defying conventional wisdom by preparing to open two new mines in Appalachia, the hardest-hit coal region.
The mines in West Virginia and Virginia will create some 400 jobs in counties where unemployment ranges close to three times the national average, Ramaco Development CEO Randall Atkins told The Associated Press.
“It’s a fairly big deal, frankly, for southern West Virginia,” Atkins said.
The Elk Creek Mine in southern West Virginia and the Berwind Mine spanning the boundary between southern West Virginia and Virginia will be operational for around 17 years. A $90 million private equity investment should enable test mining at both sites to begin early next year.
— The Associated Press