By Hagan Wells
November 2, 2021 - Companies with connections to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice will resume coal production at numerous surface mines in Eastern Kentucky, according to a report from the Herald-Leader.
Jay Justice, the governor’s son and president of the Justice Companies, said coal production has begun at the Bevins Branch and Beech Creek mines in Pike County, the Bull Creek mine in Knott County and the Infinity mine in Harlan County.
Justice said once operations are fully underway, the mines will employ 120 people in mining jobs as well as 30 people in support positions. He also state that the mining will produce tax revenue for the state and local governments and help complete reclamation.
“It’ll do a lot of good on a lot of fronts,” Justice said.
The Justices have faced a lot of legal issues over the mines regarding the reclamation process. The Justice companies claimed that the pandemic kept them from meeting the deadlines set in a 2019 deal. However, the coal market has improved during 2021 and the upturn is what Justice called the catalyst for getting the coal mines to start running coal.
According to Justice, plans are in place to finish the reclamation with work set to finish at the Bevins Branch mine by April 1 and at the Infinity mine by April 20.