Knight Hawk Coal LLC in late summer applied the finishing touches to a new portal at its flagship Prairie Eagle underground steam coal mine near Pinckneyville in Perry County, Illinois, and soon expects to reap the benefit of higher production from what essentially amounts to a new mine.

Knight, a family-owned high-sulfur coal producer in southern Illinois for nearly two decades, was using the new Prairie Eagle East Portal to shuttle miners into the operation in early September, according to Andrew Carter, who heads up sales for the company.

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