We are investing on the order of $400 million in the region to bring this new mine online,” Boylen said. “Initial mining has been focused around the shaft bottom area in an effort to establish access to the mine’s reserve base. Our slope access into the mine is projected to be in full operation by October 2012, and we expect that our preparation plant and rail load-out will be completed in late 2012. The development of mine entries from the bottom area will continue outward until the perimeter of the first longwall panel is complete so that we can begin longwall mining in the fourth quarter of 2013.”

In addition to Tygart Valley, Shelby Run Mining Co. is planning to develop the Tucker Run mine, 2 miles north of Pruntytown, W.Va. With a permit process estimated to take approximately 18 months, the development team anticipates construction to start in early 2014 with initial coal production in 2015.

Tucker Run is projected to produce between 500,000 and 600,000 tons per year from the Lower Kittanning seam. Core drilling, water monitoring and environmental baseline studies are currently being done at the site. Unlike the Tygart Valley mine, which is a longwall mine, Tucker Run will be a room-and-pillar mine. Coal from the Tucker Run mine will be trucked to the nearby Tygart Valley prep plant.