The Illinois Department of Natural Resources granted approval to Rhino subsidiary Taylorville Mining for the mine near Taylorville, which contains 285 million tons of company-controlled proven and probable steam coal reserves. About 109.5Mt of those reserves are located in Rhino’s Taylorville field.
While Rhino did not say what the primary extraction method for the mine would be, it did confirm that initial development and support facility construction would commence once it had secured sales commitments for the output.
The construction and mine development phase should take about 18-22 months to complete, with the planned infrastructure including a preparation plant and rail facility.
An estimated 250-300 jobs will be created once the operation comes online.
The new project in Illinois is a formidable addition to Rhino’s portfolio, which already includes mines in Colorado and Utah as well as Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.
"We are very pleased to be expanding our business into Illinois," Rhino president and chief executive David Zatezalo said.
“The quality of coal in the state is excellent, with an extremely high energy content, which we expect to be in high demand as advanced coal power production replaces conventional coal plants."