Company submits plans to open new coal mine in Nottingham

Posted March 18, 2013

Scott Beveridge

EIGHTY FOUR – A Kentucky company has begun the permitting application process to open a new deep coal mine in Nottingham Township, where it owns 8 million tons of the former Mathies Mine reserves.

Ramaco of Lexington last month submitted a conditional-use permit application to Nottingham supervisors to construct a portal, bath house, gob pile and related facilities on property zoned agricultural at 36 Little Mingo Road, township records indicate.

Township supervisors Chairman Peter Marcoline said the township’s planning commission has reviewed the application and supervisors are preparing to hold a public meeting on the plan before taking action on the request.

“This is in the early stages,” Marcoline said.

He said the supervisors need to consider noise levels from the proposed mine’s ventilation fan and the proximity of its structures to neighboring buildings when deciding on the permit application.

Ramaco was formed in 2011 by New York-based Yorktown Partners Michael D. Bauersachs and Randall W. Atkins, and since has acquired 1 billion tons of coal reserves at various sites around the United States, its website indicates.

John Poister, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said DEP mining officials have met with Ramaco, but the company had yet to apply for a state mining permit or a permit regarding its plan to handle water discharges from the mine.

“They have to get over that (Nottingham) hurdle first,” Poister said Monday. “This is a plan for a new underground mine going into the Mathies Mine reserves.”

Bauersachs, who is Ramaco’s president, said Monday the Nottingham mine would be a small operation, creating about 40 direct jobs.

“It could have a real nice impact on that little community,” he said.

His biography on the company’s website indicates he was vice president of planning for the former Massey Energy Corp., which was sold in 2011 to Alpha Natural Resources of Bristol, Va., following the disaster at Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia in which 29 miners were killed a year earlier.

Massey had purchased the Mathies reserves in May 2010 for $5 million from bankruptcy court following a failed attempt to operate the mine by Mon View Mining of Bethel Park .

Ramaco also has invested in the Elk Creek Mining complex in southern West Virginia and in the Northern Powder River Basin in Wyoming, its website states.

Nottingham supervisors have scheduled a public hearing for 7:20 p.m. April 1 on the Ramaco (Ram Farms) application, which involves development on 71.6 acres of property owned by the Hudson living trust, the record shows.

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