Friday, August 13, 2010

Coal Mine Planned for Champaign and Vermilion Counties Illinois

From a press release I received:

August 11, 2010

Suzanne Jaworowski
Director of Communications
Sunrise Coal, LLC
(812) 299-2800 x 214

Sunrise Coal Proposes Mining Techniques to Preserve Farmland

Terre Haute, Indiana – In response to public concern over a possible mine in the
Champaign-Vermilion County area, Sunrise Coal announces its approach to a
prospective mine would be “room and pillar” which is designed for safety and is an
ecologically friendly approach to extracting coal. Recent reports have expressed
concern over the possibility of a “long-wall” mine, which is not the intended
approach for Sunrise Coal.

As part of the exploratory evaluation of the coal reserve Sunrise Coal has met
with local leaders to discuss plans. Currently Sunrise has leased over 17,000 acres
in Vermilion County, IL for exploratory drilling. Sunrise is reviewing quality
and rock mechanics information at this time and hopes to declare the property
a minable reserve before the end of the year. The permitting process is expected
to take 18-24 months. If Sunrise moves forward with the permitting process, the
company will file for a non-subsidence plan, which confirms that there will be no
long-wall mining in the reserve.

Sunrise Coal President, Brent Bilsland explains, “When mining using the room and
pillar approach roughly half of the coal is extracted and the remaining coal is used
as support so as not to disturb the surface. Additionally, we install metal supports
to safeguard our miners.” Bilsland, a former farmer, employs the room and pillar
underground mining approach at its existing coal mine in Carlisle, Indiana because
it promotes safety and preserves the land.

Concerns around water quality and water availability have surfaced among local
land owners. As a standard requirement of the permitting process, Sunrise plans
to put in numerous monitoring wells and take stream samples around the property
to ensure that water quality and availability will not be affected. Additionally,
the company expects to pipe in its own water supply. Sunrise Coal is required by
Federal and State Law to design all facilities to prevent any material damage to the
area water, both quality and quantity.

The Sunrise permit will require the company to comply with State water quality
standards. Any discharge point will be sampled regularly and monitored by an
independent third party, State government officials and Sunrise Coal engineers.

The prospective plan for a new mine would employ over 300 workers. The
company expects to hire and train many local residents for long-term jobs. The
average hourly salary would be in the range of $18 – $26 and the expected life of the
mine is roughly 30 years.

Sunrise Coal, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hallador Energy Company
(NASDAQ - HNRG). The Sunrise team has extensive experience in mining in
the Indiana-Illinois region including the Riola Mine, under the name of Catlin
Coal. Founded in 2002 by Ron and Steve Laswell, the company has focused on
underground coal mining. In 2006, Hallador Energy purchase part of Sunrise
Coal and began the development of the Carlisle Mine in Carlisle, IN. The Carlisle
mine currently mines over 3 million tons annually and employs over 320 people. In
2010, Forbes Magazine named Hallador one of their Top 100 Most Trustworthy

More information on Sunrise can be found at

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