PRESTONSBURG – The notification was sent out shortly after a meeting of the Floyd County Board of Education this week. Those interested in buying between 500 and 700 tons of coal could find it at the site of the future Floyd County Central High School at Eastern.
Blackhawk Mining in Floyd County answered that call, submitting and acquiring the coal at a price of $12 a ton to gather the coal with their own equipment as is once contract workers pile it after construction to certain areas of the site.
What this means, according to Greg Adams, Director of Facilities for Floyd County Schools, is that the school board will not be able to recoup the potential $250,000 in coal reserves at the site. The amount will be much less, but Adams can’t say exactly how much less at this point.
“It’s really hard to say just how much we’ll get,” Adams said Tuesday. “We won’t see as much coal as was in the original report, but if they encounter more coal they’ll get it, they said. For now, we’re just going to cut where we need to and then pile it up and they’ll come and get it with their trucks.”
In the original report, prices upwards of $30 per washed ton were received from some prospective mining companies and the general amount of coal thought to be at the site weighed in at nearly 9,000 tons.
Also in the original report, Greer Mining had been mentioned as a potential buyer, with a split going between the company and the school board. It was not detailed what Blackhawk’s agreement is with the county.
As for the future of the rest of the coal that may not be recovered as part of the site work for the new school, Adams said Tuesday that once the cuts were made to situate the facility, there would be no more work conducted that might produce more coal.
“It’ll stay unmined,” Adams said. “But they (Blackhawk) did say they expect to encounter some more soon. It won’t be anywhere near the amount in that report, but it might be a little more.”
Sheldon Compton is a staff writer for The Floyd County Times. He can be reached at (606) 886-8506.