The proposed mine will be the resource element of the nation’s first vertically integrated carbon tech platform. (Photo: Ramaco Carbon)

After a lengthy period of review over almost seven years, Ramaco Carbon received notice from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Land Quality Division that its permit application for the Brook mine, outside Sheridan, has been deemed technically complete. Bjorne Kristiansen, permit coordinator, sent the notice to the company last week, which now opens it up to a public comment period before a final decision is made on the approval of the mine permit. The company said a decision is expected this summer.

The proposed mine will be the resource element of the nation’s first vertically integrated carbon tech platform, which includes the iCAM (Carbon Advanced Material) research park campus and the future iPark mine-mouth manufacturing facilities, the company said. The overall platform is focused on using coal to create advanced products and materials, such as carbon fiber and graphene.

“We are delighted that this long review process has culminated in an application that meets and indeed exceeds the state’s high standards for approval,” Chairman and CEO Randall Atkins said. “This permit demonstrates to Sheridan, and Wyoming as a whole, that we will be good stewards of this area’s high quality of life and environment. We look forward to completing the remaining steps in the permit process over the next few months, and moving forward to build a Carbon Valley in this area, that focuses on creating higher value, environmental uses for coal, and one which the Sheridan community can be proud of.”

Jeff Barron, a consulting engineer for the mine, said the application has gone through a more thorough review than most mines in the state, passing peer review from the technical experts at DEQ’s Land Quality Division District 3, District 1, and a third-party engineering company hired by the state agency.

“This application features some of the most stringent and extensive environmental protections of any coal mine permit ever considered in Wyoming,” Barron, said. “The fact it has passed through so many levels of review should help ensure the local community that all issues have been considered, and they will have an operation they can feel good about.”

The DEQ notification grants authorization for a final public notice for the Brook mine permit. An informal conference is expected following this during the second week in May. Following that, the company expects a decision to approve or deny the application by mid-July.