Surface mine near Ky./Va. border undergoing reclamation

Surface mine near Ky./Va. border undergoing reclamation
Surface mine near Ky./Va. border undergoing reclamation(WYMT)
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 3:26 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11

WISE COUNTY, Va. (WYMT) - Black Mountain is the highest peak in Kentucky.

If you are driving to or from Virginia, you will see a surface mine in Wise County, Va., which borders Harlan County.

“There’s been just various questions, all the way from is that what mining looks like, or was that a nuclear test site or what is the situation with that,” said Harlan County Magistrate Paul Browning.

On Jan. 19, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, Appalachian Voices and the Sierra Club reached an agreement in a lawsuit the groups filed against A & G Coal Corporation. The company is owned by the family of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.

The Herald Leader reports the company stopped mining there in 2013. The report said reclamation did not happen shortly after.

“It’s more profitable in the long run to reclaim as you mine, as opposed to just mining, and then having to come back and have a pure expense of reclamation,” he said.

Browning has mining experience. He said he is happy to see what reclamation is going on so far.

“But from a time perspective, I don’t know the amount of equipment that would have to be used,” he said. “That would have to take this down from a one to year project, we’re talking years.”

He said as tourism picks up in those areas of Kentucky and Virginia, the mine area has endless possibilities.

A news release said A&G has committed to completing reclamation by Aug. 31, 2023.

You can read a statement from the three organizations that filed the lawsuit here.

WYMT reached out to A&G for comment, but the number we called was disconnected.