Black Mountain (Kentucky)

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{{#badges:CoalSwarm}} Black Mountain (Kentucky) is the tallest mountain in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, USA, with a summit elevation of 4,145 feet (1,263 m) above mean sea level and a top to bottom height of over 2,500 feet (760 m). The summit is located in Harlan County, Kentucky near the Virginia border, just above the towns of Lynch, Kentucky and Appalachia, Virginia.

A coal company named Penn Virginia Resources of Radnor, Pennsylvania owns the summit. Penn Virginia Resources does not mine coal. Rather it leases coal mines to third parties.[1]

Virginia-based A&G Coal Company has planned mountaintop removal mining in the area. In a city council meeting in June 2011, Harlan County executive Joe Grieshop told Lynch Mayor Taylor Hall that he must negotiate with the coal company for mining or the county would not fund a needed fire station for Lynch.[2]

The Sierra Club reported in May 2011 that blasts for MTR are already taking place on the mountain.[3]

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History

Black Mountain's history is intimately tied to the coal mining of the surrounding region. Lynch, Kentucky, was once one of the largest coal mining towns in the nation. it was built by U.S. Coal & Coke Company in 1917 to house 10,000 miners and their families, many African-American. In 1998, Jericol Mining, Inc., petitioned to use mountaintop removal methods in the area of Black Mountain. In 1999, Kentucky purchased mineral and timber rights to the summit and prevented future large scale mining. Coal companies continue to pursue mining the area, saying that mined coal veins converge beneath the summit of Black Mountain and that the summit is prone to collapse.[3]

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