Phoenix Coal Inc. secures permits for Radio Hill section of Briar Hill surface mineadmin
Phoenix Coal Inc., a leading producer and consolidator of thermal coal reserves in the Illinois Basin, announced the Company has received a permit granted by the United States Army Corps of Engineers under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. With the 404 Permit, the Company has now secured all of the necessary permits to begin mining on the Radio Hill section of the Briar Hill surface mine (“Radio Hill”) in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, effective immediately. During December 2008, Phoenix obtained a permit required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (“401 Permit”) and a permit granted by the Kentucky Division of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement for Radio Hill.
Mine development work has already commenced at Radio Hill, and the Company expects coal production to begin in February. The mine is expected to reach full production by April after an initial ramp-up period and contribute approximately 500,000 tons of production in 2009.
“Securing this permit represents an important step in our efforts to increase our production levels and meet our contractual commitments to our customers,” said David A. Wiley, President and CEO of Phoenix Coal. “However, until all outstanding permits are secured we remain in a state of force majeure and will continue to work diligently to obtain the remaining permits for the KO and Winn North properties.”