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Officials considering application for new surface mine

March 23, 2021 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia officials are considering a permit application for a new surface mine in Raleigh County.

Republic Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Tennessee-based Alpha Metallurgical Resources, has proposed a metallurgical surface mine three miles south of Clear Creek where it would mine 11.2 million tons of coal over eight years, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.


The state Department of Environmental Protection Division of Mining and Reclamation discussed details and heard comments during a virtual permit hearing last week, including concerns about environmental impacts. Officials have 30 days to make a decision.

Naoma-based nonprofit Coal River Mountain Watch wants the department to deny the application due to the company’s history of blasting.

“We have in some communities, in some neighborhoods, the explosive equivalent of 20 Tomahawk missiles or the mother of all bombs going off every day,” said Vernon Haltom, the group’s executive director.

In a statement, Alpha Metallurgical Resources said it operates “with a commitment to the protection of the environment and the surrounding communities.”

“Should our permit application be approved, we look forward to expanding our operations, continuing to offer well-paying jobs, and operating safely and responsibly for years to come,” the company said.