By Kaylee Lindenmuth
CONYNGHAM TOWNSHIP, Columbia County - After three years of effort and a $14 Million investment, including a $1 Million grant from the commonwealth, Blaschak Coal Corporation has begun production at what they say is one of the richest seams of anthracite in the region.
Production began on April 18 at the Mt. Carmel mine, in Conyngham Township between Centralia and the Northumberland County line.
“We are incredibly excited that production at the Mammoth seam is underway,” said Greg Driscoll, president and CEO of Blaschak Coal Corp. “The Mt. Carmel project is one of the largest undertakings of its kind in the region, and I couldn’t be prouder of the effort brought forth by all the members of our team here at Blaschak. Not only will the mine allow us to produce the highest quality anthracite, but it will bring much-needed employment and economic growth to the region.”
The Mahanoy City-based company has had to excavate over 2.5 million yards of overburden and design a pumping system to handle mine pool and surface water, all to extract coal from the Mammoth seam, which is 50 feet thick in some spots, the company says.
Blaschak signed a 20-year lease with Ed Helfrick Jr., proprietor of Mallard Contracting, which they say will allow the company to "maintain mining jobs in the region and eventually provide additional employment options as production potential grows." The company expects mining at the site to continue for more than two decades and produce over 300,000 tons a year.
The mine replaces a 22-year effort at their Centralia mine nearby.
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