Red Cliff Mine

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

Red Cliff Mine is a new underground coal mine proposed by Rhino Energy. It is located on federally-managed public lands 11 miles north of the towns of Loma and Mack and 1.5 miles east of State Highway 139, in Mesa County. The mine would produce 8 million tons of coal annually over 30 years, making it one of the largest in Colorado. (In 2006 the mine was proposed by CAM Holdings,[1] which was formed in April 2003 by "entities managed by Wexford Capital."[2] CAM Holdings was the predecessor of Rhino Resource Partners,[2] which became Rhino Energy.[3])

Rhino Energy's proposal includes construction of mine entries, associated roads and facilities on 23,000 acres, construction of 14 mile rail spur, and construction of 14 mile transmission line. Rhino Energy plans to conduct underground mining 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year, using room and pillar and longwall mining techniques. [4]

In 2009, the Bureau of Land Managment decided to revise a draft environmental impact statement on the project, in part because a second company expressed interest and said an expanded study area would make the leasing process more competitive.[5]

Pollution

According to Bureau of Land Management (BLM), construction will release 98.32 tons of NOx, 99.72 tons of PM2.5, 79.65 tons of PM10, and 4.46 tons of VOCs annually. Production activities will release 80.54 tons of NOx, 7.14 tons of PM2.5, 23.8 tons of PM10, and 3.91 tons of VOCs annually.

The Red Cliff Mine would also release 24.2 MMcf of methane daily—9.7 through degasification wells, 14.5 through mine ventilation—making it the largest coal mine emitter of methane in Colorado.[6]

Citizen Groups

Resources

References

  1. Bureau of Land Management, "Scoping Process", Bureau of Land Management, December 2006.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Initial Public Offerings (IPO): Rhino Resource Partners, L.P.", accessed April 2009.
  3. Rhino Energy, "Company History", Rhino Energy website, accessed April 2009.
  4. "Proposed Red Cliff Mine Project Description", Bureau of Land Management Colorado website, accessed March 2009.
  5. Dennis Webb, "Instead of closing, mine proposes expansion" Daily Sentinel, July 2, 2010.
  6. Bureau of Land Management, BLM Red Cliff Mine Documents, Bureau of Land Management website, accessed

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