After its re-opening in June of 2010, Western Coal and its Willow Creek metallurgical coal mine invested heavily in environmental programs.
As part of the re-opening plan, Ledcor recently began reclamation activities at the site. This involves reusing top soil stockpiles (generated from mining) to re-grade and cover areas where mining operations are complete. The areas are then re-vegetated to assist in recovery. This helps restore the surrounding areas of the mine and mitigate its environmental impact.
In addition to reclamation activities, project employees are also currently recycling cardboard, wood, and metal waste through large bins provided by Ames Trucking, as well as paper, bottles and cans which are recycled through local programs.
The mine’s current approvals support a production rate of up to 900,000 tons of metallurgical coal per year, with applications underway to increase production to 1.7 million tons per year over a 13-year life-of-mine.