|This article is part of the Global Coal Mine Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor and the Center for Media and Democracy.|
Brook Mine is a proposed U.S. coal mine in Sheridan County, Wyoming, owned by the Sheridan-based firm Ramaco Carbon LLC.
The map below shows the approximate location of the Brook Mine site in Sheridan County, Wyoming.
Ramaco acquired reserves and property located six miles north of Sheridan, WY, in 2011 from the original owner, Sheridan Wyoming Cola Company, who had owned the property since 1914. Portions of the property had been previously surface- and deep-mined beginning over 100 years ago.
The initial mining permit application was filed on October 30, 2014, which will include surface mine development of trench cuts, facilitating the use of low-cost highwall mining—a mining technique used primarily in eastern mining operations. Ramaco plans to build a coal campus replete with a research complex and a manufacturing hub. On top of the ambitious proposal, Brook Mining Company, a subsidiary of Ramaco, bought land near Sheridan to resurrect coal mining operations to feed the research facilities. The company aims to transition away from thermal coal generation and find other uses for coal beyond electricity generation.
The Brook Mine would be the first coal mine to be permitted by the State of Wyoming in over four decades. Brook Mine contains nearly 100 million recoverable tons in initial mining areas being permitted, and the initial reserve area is sufficient to support nearly 20+ years of mining.
The Brook Mine has hit a series of hurdles since the company submitted its permit application in 2014. Though the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) initially stated the Brook Mining Company’s permit had no “deficiencies” and was “technically adequate,” the Environmental Quality Council (EQC), an independent regulatory body, held a contested case hearing on the mine in 2017. The EQC declined to approve the Brook Mine permit application, and in turn, the director of the DEQ denied the company a permit to mine.
The Brook Mining Company took the issue to court, and on October 30, 2019, the Laramie County District Court ruled in favor of Ramaco Carbon. The judge concluded that state environmental regulators erred when rejecting the company’s permit application to mine because the EQC cannot “make the substantive, technical assessment required to approve a permit application.” The EQC decision should have been interpreted as counsel to the Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) director, not as the final decision.
The next step will be for the DEQ to consider either its original 2017 permit or the revised version released in October 2018. It is waiting to see if any party will appeal the decision before setting a new timeline. (Parties have 30 days to decide on an appeal.)
- Sponsor: Brook Mining Company LLC
- Parent Company: Ramaco Carbon LLC
- Location: Sheridan County, Wyoming, United States
- GPS Coordinates: 44.8981163, -107.050853 (approximate)
- Status: Proposed
- Production Capacity: 6–8 million tons per year (proposed)
- Total Resource:
- Mineable Reserves: Over 1 billion tons
- Coal type:
- Mine Size: Over 15,000 acres
- Mine Type: Surface
- Start Year:
- Source of Financing:
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To see a listing of coal mines in a particular state, click on the map:
- Brook Mine Overview Powerpoint Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce, Nov. 6, 2014.
- "Court sides with Ramaco in efforts to open coal mine" Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Nov. 1, 2019.
- "Rejected Coal Mine Permit Back in Consideration After Court Decision" Wyoming Public Media, Oct. 30, 2019.
- "Ramaco's plan for new coal mine in Sheridan County hits legal roadblock" The Casper Star-Tribune, May 11, 2015.
- Facilities Ramaco Carbon, accessed October 2019.