The Brook mine, to be located between Sheridan and Ranchester, will be situated on about 14,500 acres of private and state-owned property, according to a recent shareholder presentation produced by the company.
None of the coal to be mined is federally owned, the presentation also confirmed, and there are plans to incorporate about 60% trench and area mining at a 3:1 ratio in addition to the highwall extraction.
Ramaco CEO Randall Atkins told the Casper Star-Tribune this week that the company is seeking to export the coal, which at 9,100Btu ranks higher than other coal found in the PRB, overseas. He declined to elaborate on specific export markets.
He also noted that Brook will have a much smaller mine plan than its neighbors, which include the 100-metric-ton-per-year (mtpy) Black Thunder and North Antelope Rochelle complexes; while the property has about 100 million tons of recoverable coal — 920 million tons are owned and 140 million tons are leased, according to Ramaco’s profile — the mine’s goal is 8 million tons per year at prime production.
“We’ll do 8 million tons,” he told the Star-Tribune. “We can find a market for this amount of coal. If you’re trying to start a 50-mtpy mine, that will be harder to place.”
The complex, which has an intersecting BNSF rail line, expects to employ about 200 workers. It is currently completing a yearlong air and water quality testing phase, and Atkins told the paper it will submit its state environmental quality permit application by August.
Ramaco, based in Lexington, is an acquisitions and development arm of New York private equity firm Yorktown Partners LLC. According to state records and the Star-Tribune, it purchased the land from Brink’s Co., formerly known as the Pittston Co., in 2011.