File Pennsylvanian Anthracite Fields Stockton Current Operations – Stockton Mine

Anthracite is the cleanest solid fossil fuel known to man. It is almost pure carbon, with very low sulphur and volatile content, meaning it burns virtually smoke and emission free. It is by far one of the most environmentally sound fuels available.

As well as the environmentally friendly credentials of the product Stockton produces, Atlantic Coal takes its responsibility towards the local environment very seriously. The anthracite coalfields of Pennsylvania are plagued by a legacy of both deep and surface mining stretching back 200 years. Many pits were abandoned once accessible reserves were exhausted leaving behind a legacy of derelict and degraded land. Modern opencast mining revisits such areas and ensures that the task of mining them is completed properly.

Coal Contractors’ operations in Pennsylvania like all modern mining operations are subject to a surface mining permit from the  Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) which, among other things, includes provision for reclamation of all worked out areas. In addition, mining operations are fully bonded through PADEP, meaning the Company has, in effect, already paid the cost of reclamation to in the form of a protected bond. On top of this a percentage of the cost of each ton of anthracite sold is given to a federal fund set up to reclaim abandoned mines and pit areas. In this way the legacy left by historical anthracite mining is repaired. And the landscape restored producing substantial environmental benefits for the area.

At our Stockton mine, current mine reclamation is practised with continual backfilling – as the overburden is removed from the pit it is taken to a disposal area in a previously mined section. Backfilled areas are restored to slightly above original contours, but the terrain is returned to its original shape, following which grass seed is laid down and trees are planted. Improvements allow for natural streams to flow over the land in place of the abandoned mining tunnels currently directing water flow. Ponds and wetlands are created and wildlife is able to flourish. 100 acres have already been reclaimed in this way at Stockton, and at Gowen Mine over 500 acres of mining dereliction were reclaimed by the Company.