New Elk Coal is an underground mine using the room and pillar system, which is the predominant coal mining method in the United States. Coal deposits are mined by cutting a network of rooms into the coal, leaving pillars to support the roof of the mine.
The coal is washed at our processing facility, then transported by rail to Convent Marine Terminal in New Orleans for export to the global seaborne market. Other port options include Pasadena Deepwater Terminal in Houston, as well as the Port of Los Guaymas in Mexico.
Initially, the coal will be transported in trucks (27t payload) along Highway 12 to the Jansen Yard rail load-out facility, south of Trinidad, Colorado. This will continue for approximately 18 to 24 months during which time a railway spur extending from the mine to the rail load-out facility will be built. The spur will run alongside Highway 12. Once complete, coal will be loaded into unit trains at the mine, and transported direct to port.
The planned trucking schedule is summarized below.
April 2021 to Fall 2023
- Days: Monday to Friday
- Hours: 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.
- Trucks: 10 trucks doing 6 trips per day
- No trucking during school drop-off and pick-up in Weston
Future Rail Schedule:
Once the rail line is complete, coal will be loaded into unit trains at the mine and transported
directly to the marine terminals. At full operation, it is expected to have one unit train with
approximately 120 railcars per week.