Patriot sticks to reclamation commitment

PATRIOT Coal has reaffirmed its intention to reclaim land at recently closed mine sites in western Kentucky after a Henderson county court investigated irregularities in the processing of reclamation bonds.

Justin Niessner

Patriot told local officials on Tuesday that the miner was current in all bonding payments and planned to continue with mine reclamation in the area and all bonding projects.

According to Indiana’s Evansville Courier and Press, the Henderson County Court took the highly unusual step of making payments to ensure two reclamation bonds did not lapse and hired a Lexington law firm to represent the county in Patriot’s bankruptcy reorganization.

Bonds that were misapplied by the insurance company have been reinstated, reconfirming the miner’s role in the reclamation process, which is expected to take at least two years.

“We have plans to keep about 12 people out there [to do reclamation work],” Patriot’s general manager of Kentucky operations Bob Bosch told the Courier and Press.

“If we need contractors, we will explore that possibility.”

Patriot announced last month that it would close Henderson county’s Bluegrass surface mine complex by the end of the year.

Reclamation work will continue as the site is restored to meet regulatory requirements.

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