New 1.1B Ton Coal Mine Seeks Wyoming Permits

(Wyoming Business Report, November 5) – Even with coal operators fighting red-ink-stained financial reports, a three-year-old coal company said Tuesday that it is pushing forward on what would become the first new mine in Sheridan County in almost 50 years.

Sheridan-based Ramaco LLC announced that it filed its mine and reclamation permit for the Brook Mine with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality through its subsidiary – the Brook Mining Company. The mine site chosen – 15,000 acres six miles north of Sheridan – is not new to mining. The company said that coalmining took place on the property between 1914 and 1940.

The coalmine wouldn’t be on federal lands, meaning Ramaco won’t have to pay 12.5 percent federal severance taxes, and being south of the Montana border cuts its state royalty rate from 15 percent to 7 percent. The mine is already bisected by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail line, meaning the company will have ready access to shipping as well.

The mine’s newly submitted application is in technical review at the DEQ, and the company projects that it will receive the permit by the third quarter of 2015. Between then and 2016, the mine and its infrastructure would be built out to be put in production sometime in 2016. Production would reach up to 8 million tons per year. 

The mine, officials said, would employ about 60 to 250 hourly miners along with eight to 20 salaried jobs. That would put annual payroll at an estimated $30 million over the mine’s 20-year life. 

Gov. Matt Mead, who won his re-election bid last night and has been supportive of the coal industry throughout his time in office, said he applauded Ramaco for its efforts.

“The new mine will mean more high-paying jobs and millions of additional dollars to the local economy,” he said. “Ramaco’s faith in Wyoming’s natural resources shows that Wyoming is a good investment. Ramaco’s plan also confirms my belief that coal has a long future in Wyoming.”

Other coal companies have been faltering despite their Wyoming presence, shutting down many eastern mines even while keeping Wyoming mines open. 

Original article here.

The mine will fuel economic development, too, according to Shawn Reese, CEO of the Wyoming Business Council.