Blankenberger Brothers plans to start construction later this year on an underground coal mine in Pike County.
Donnie Blankenberger, president of the family owned excavation company in Cynthiana, told S&P Global Platts that 2019 should be the year the company finally moves forward with a project that has been on the drawing board for several years.
Construction on the room-and-pillar operation is estimated to take about 18 months and mining would commence in late 2020 or early in 2021.
The mine will be developed by Blankenberger’s BB Mining subsidiary, which has mined previously in southern Indiana.
Blankenberger expects the coal will be exported, though he didn’t elaborate about potential destinations. He predicted the mine will be among the region’s lowest-cost producers.
The company says the mine is fully permitted.
S&P Global Platts says the new mine will be the second coal mine developed in the region in recent years.
Australia’s Paringa Resources has begun production at its Poplar Grove underground mine near the Green River in McLean County, KY. As well, Hallador Energy’s Sunrise Coal subsidiary recently was issued a final permit for its proposed Bulldog underground mine near Allerton in Vermilion County, IL.
Blankenberger has extensive civil construction capacities and works on commercial sites, industrial projects, residential developments, state highways, and public utilities as well as mines.