A new company with an ungainly name, Princess Polly Anna & JCT Enterprises LLC, is looking to get into the metallurgical coal production business in Greenbrier County, W.Va.
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection records show that on Feb. 6, the company applied for a mine permit on the No. 1 strip job, to be located near Quinwood. This would be a 176-acre contour/auger/highwall miner operation working the Sewell coal seam. Based on past DEP permitting work, this application will probably need at least a year of processing before a permit is issued.
Princess Polly Anna & JCT Enterprises was first listed in the U.S. Office of Surface Mining database on Feb. 17, based on information supplied to OSM by the state DEP. The OSM records show that the company is 49% owned by Joseph Turley Jr., and 51% owned by Frederick Taylor. West Virginia Secretary of State records show the company was incorporated in August 2010 and has Taylor and Joseph Turley II as members.
Greenbrier County is known for problem geology because it is on the ragged edge of a coalfield area and the coal seams tend to be pretty faulted. But those seams hold high-quality metallurgical coal, which is seeing slumping demand right now on the international market but is expected to have long-term staying power in the face of skyrocketing demand from growing economies in South America and Asia.
The only other pending applications for Greenbrier County at the DEP’s mine permit division, as of March 6, were filed at various points in 2011 by the South Fork Coal Co. LLC unit of Xinergy Ltd. Those applications are for the Clearco Loadout, Haulroad No. 2 and the 852-acre Blue Knob No. 1 strip job, which would work splits of the Sewell seam.
Xinergy had announced on Dec. 15, 2011, that South Fork Coal had received requisite approvals and commenced production on a portion of its Sewell-seam, mid-vol met coal reserves in Greenbrier County. The company said it intended to initially surface mine 10,000-20,000 tons per month with shipments anticipated to commence in early 2012, after which production is expected to increase to 50,000-60,000 tons by late 2012.
DEP records show that South Fork Coal has an active, 308-acre strip mining permit, issued all the way back in 1978, that at various points in recent years had been held by companies like ANR Coal-West Virginia LLC and Brooks Run Mining Co. LLC. The permit was transferred in September 2011 to South Fork Coal from Brooks Run Mining. As of a Feb. 3 DEP site inspection, 220 acres of the permit area had been disturbed, and 205 acres reclaimed, indicating when compared to a 308-acre total permit area a mine that is well along in its lifespan.