BLACK DIAMOND, Wash. -- The Pacific Coal Company has applied for permits to resume mining operations for the first time since 1999 at its John Henry Mine in Black Diamond.
The announcement went out quietly weeks ago to local residents. The company has notified residents within a half mile of the mine that it will perform pre-blasting inspections of their homes to use in any damage claims caused by the blasting, which would occur between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Documents filed with the Federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement show the comment period on a new Environmental Assessment of the project ends May 13.
Documents also show the coal would be sold to concrete manufacturing companies in the Seattle area to be burned to generate power for the cement making process.
The company estimates the mining would produce some 700,000 tons of coal over a period of a few years.
Coal mining and burning has all but ceased in Washington state and this would mark the first operation to resume in the last 15 years.