Companies partner to develop new PRB coal mine

25-April-2007 -- Affiliates of CONSOL Energy Inc. and The Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining Co. have entered into a joint venture agreement to develop the proposed Youngs Creek Mine north of Sheridan, Wyo.
CONSOL of Wyoming LLC, and Chevron NPRB LLC, have formed a new company, Youngs Creek Mining Company LLC., to develop and operate the mine. Youngs Creek Mining Company received coal reserves and land totaling approximately 315 million tons of sub-bituminous Powder River Basin coal with an estimated heat content of 9,350 Btu/lb and an average sulfur content of 0.47 percent.

Based on initial feasibility studies, the mine has the potential to reach 15 million tons per year when at full production. Engineering, environmental and permitting work are in progress, and the companies anticipate that permits for the mine will be submitted in late 2008. However, both companies stress that actual mine construction will not start until the joint venture has sufficient coal sales under contract to justify the planned investment.

"This high-quality reserve Youngs Creek Mining will develop is one of the best remaining in the Powder River Basin," said J. Brett Harvey, CONSOL Energy Inc.'s president and CEO. "Not only is it the highest Btu product being produced anywhere in the Wyoming portion of the basin, but the majority of the coal is owned outright rather than leased from the federal government as is more typical of Powder River Basin reserves."

"We are excited about the formation of Youngs Creek Mining Company and the opportunities it will create for Sheridan County, Wyomong," stated Mark A. Smith, P&M's president and CEO. "We look forward to working with the community towards the development of this unique resource."

Harvey said that CONSOL of Wyoming was pleased to be in partnership with Chevron NPRB. "Partnering on a large new mine with an experienced western surface mine operator reduces the risk profile of expanding into the Powder River Basin."

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