The 710-acre “shadow” permit to be issued by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Reclamation office in Jasonville will allow Gibson North’s output to approach 5 million tons annually. The mine produced 3.4 million tons in 2012.
Gibson North is a continuous miner operation that started up about a decade ago in the southern Indiana county. The mine produces high-sulfur steam coal for the U.S. electric utility market.
Alliance, based in Tulsa, Okla., is in the process of constructing the Gibson South underground mine less than a mile away. The mine is scheduled to begin initial production in the third quarter of 2014. Alliance said about a third of Gibson South’s projected annual output of 5.2 million tons could be marketed overseas, although the company has not disclosed specific destination targets.
Gibson South’s coal is lower in sulfur than conventional Illinois Basin coal, making it potentially more attractive to foreign markets, the company said.
Gibson South also will be a continuous miner operation.
In September, Alliance also was issued a pair of permits by the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources for the company’s River View underground mine near the Ohio River in western Kentucky’s Union County.
The permits will enable Alliance to extend mining at River View but are not expected to appreciably affect the mine’s overall output of more than 8 million tons of high-sulfur coal annually. River View produced about 4 million tons in the first half of 2013. It is the largest deep mine in Kentucky and accounts for almost 10% of the state’s overall annual output.
Alliance said it expects to produce 39.3 million to 39.6 million tons of coal this year and sell 38.6 million to 39.5 million tons.