Web Extra: Mining by the Numbers

By Tom McClanahan | tmcclanahan@wtwo.com

Published 04/24 2014 10:10PM

Updated 04/25 2014 08:21AM

Coal mining is one of the traditional industries that helped build the Wabash Valley and other areas throughout southwest Indiana and southeast Illinois.  It produces 35 million tons of coal a year.  The Sunrise Mine near Carlisle, IN produces 3.5 million tons a year.  The company also operates a smaller mine near Clay City, Indiana, the Ace in the Hole Mine.  Over 375 people are employed in those two mines.  The average salary in the company ranges between $70,000 and $80,000 annually. Sunrise Coal is an equal opportunity employer. For more information on Sunrise Coal click here.

The Illinois Coal Basin is located in Indiana, Illinois and Western Kentucky.  It has been mined for decades and still provides moderate-sulphur varieties for use, mostly by power plants.  New power plant technology has made coal a more attractive commodity for fuel and safety in deep and strip mines continues to improve.  For more on the Illinois Basin click here.

That mine safety has come from efforts by the federal government and the United Mine Workers of America.  All mines are inspected regularly and each miner has to pass several tests to maintain his/her job.  At the Sunrise Mine in Carlisle, over 14,000 hours of safety training has been held and each worker must toil alongside a qualified miner before he/she is assigned a permanent job.  You can click here to learn more about mine safety.

The mining industry and power producers are facing possible stricter regulations for greenhouse gas control.  The EPA is pushing for even stricter requirements that you can learn more about here.  Look for a fight against the regulations from both coal mining companies in the Illinois basin and coal-fired power plants in Indiana and Illinois.

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