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Coal mine to reopen after 25 years

World Coal,

A coal mine in Raleigh County, West Virginia, US, is set to reopen – 25 years after it was closed.

United Coal has held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Affinity mine near Sophia. The mine, which has been closed since 1985, is expected to create 254 underground mining jobs, with a possible 1300 operation jobs.

The reopening is attributed to an increase in demand for met coal. The company is investing approximately US$ 115 million on the new mine.

Dale Birchfield, of the newly formed Affinity Coal Co., said the mine will produce coal for approximately 25 years, with reserves of 40 million t. Birchfield said: “It’s a large body of reserves to be mined from one portal. It will be a lot of work for a lot of years.”

President and CEO of United Coal, Michael Zervos, emphasised that safety would be the company’s “number one priority”, in light of the tragedy at the Upper Big Branch mine earlier this year.

United Coal plan to reopen the mine in July 2011. It is also reported that the company is planning to open another mine in the Elkins area.

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