A Kentucky coal mining firm announced Tuesday it will expand operations at a Garfield County coal mine that will bring jobs and millions of dollars in economic impact to the Grand Valley.
Central Appalachian Mining also plans to build a 15–mile stretch of railroad track from the mine east of Highway 139 south to a main line near Loma.
The Kentucky–based company bought the McClane Canyon Mine 19 miles north of Loma at auction two years ago. Current plans are to expand operations there from a current 300,000 tons a year to a capacity of six million tons by 2010.
Central Appalachian Mining plans to invest $163 million in new equipment that will use the Long–wall Technique already in use in mines in the North Fork Valley in Delta County. Company executives estimate a direct economic impact of nearly $64 million to Mesa County.
The company also needs trained workers and U-TEC and Mesa State College will begin training up to 150 workers for the high–paying jobs as soon as they are needed.
The company estimates it will take two years to get the necessary permits to build the new railroad track. The mine is expected to be in full production in about five years.
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