New Elk mine edging closer to startup

CLINE Mining’s New Elk operation has received its mine and transportation permits, pushing the rehabbed 3 million ton per annum Colorado mine towards a planned fourth-quarter 2010 start.
New Elk mine edging closer to startup New Elk mine edging closer to startup New Elk mine edging closer to startup New Elk mine edging closer to startup New Elk mine edging closer to startup

Cline Mining Corporation's New Elk metallurgical coal mine in southern Colorado.

Donna Schmidt

The company said on Thursday it has received required permits from the Colorado Department of Transportation to truck coal from the new mine in Las Animas County to Cline’s loadout at the Jansen Rail Yard in Trinidad.

“[The] loadout links the coal mine to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway unit train service and its continental rail network, allowing access to the major Pacific and Atlantic North American bulk coal export terminals, as well as US steel mills,” Cline officials said.

“The New Elk mine will be able to truck up to 3Mt of metallurgical steel-making coal a year to the rail yard until the New Elk steel railway line is reinstalled on the existing right-of-way from the loadout at the mine to the BNSF rail line at Jansen to provide continued unit train service.”

New Elk has also received the necessary state environmental permits to operate, including the Colorado Department of Reclamation, Mining and Safety’s coal mine reclamation and air emissions permits, and water quality discharge permits from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The mine has already obtained its approved roof control, ventilation and dust control, mine rescue compliance, emergency mine evacuation and emergency response plans from the US Mine Safety and Health Administration.

The mine is currently operating under these approved plans, and development is on schedule and on budget as it prepares to go online in the final quarter of this year.

Production will ramp up to 1.3Mtpa in 2011, then increase to 3Mtpa by 2013, with output coal being slated for delivery worldwide.

New Elk’s independent technical report, completed in 2008 by Behre Dolbear and relied upon in an Agapito Associates preliminary assessment wrapped up this March, reflected 315Mt of in-place coal.

“Cline's New Elk Coal Mine in Colorado has a long and successful history of producing and delivering high quality metallurgical coal from its underground mine in southern Colorado to the steel making industry,” the producer said.

The mine assets acquired at New Elk include silos, buildings, conveyor systems, electricals, underground workings, portal access from the plant and surface real estate. Also included were the mine permit and coal refuse disposal site.

In addition to Colorado, Cline Mining has coal interests in British Columbia, Canada, and also mines iron ore in Madagascar and gold in northern Ontario, Canada.