Company spokeswoman Kim Link said the first CSX train loaded with coal from the Taylor County operation left Leer at about 10am local time, October 23.
The coal from the mine will go to Dominion Terminal Associates in Newport News, Virginia, where it will then be loaded to a seaborne vessel for export to Europe.
“NAPP [Northern Appalachia] regional president Don Vickers loaded the first rail car,” Link said.
“Many others also joined the honors of loading the cars that followed, including general manager Scott Boylen, director of coal preparation Greg Dehart and preparation plant manager Randy Corder.”
Corder said the construction of the plant was an intense 18-month project, and the team was happy to bring the project to fruition.
The Leer underground mine operates two continuous miner sections.
A longwall is planned, but will not come online until the third quarter of next year. At prime production, the mine’s 300-strong roster will work to produce about 3.5 million tons of coal annually.
Link said the mine would supply metallurgical and PCI-grade coals to the steel industry domestically and internationally.
Leer was initially named Tygart Valley when owned by International Coal Group, a producer Arch acquired last year. It was renamed in April in honor of former Arch chief executive officer Steven Leer.