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Alaska’s Family Coal Business

November 13, 2011

Usibelli Coal Mine Inc.(UCM) is a 68 year old family business. Four generations of the Usibelli family have lived in the Healy area and mined sub-bituminous coal.

At Usibelli Coal Mine, up to 100 feet of unconsolidated sandstone or overburden must be moved to uncover the top seam (seam number 6) of coal. Another 120 feet of interburden must be moved to uncover the second seam (seam number 4) while roughly another 80 feet of interburden must be removed to uncover the third seam of coal (seam number 3) reaching nearly 400 feet at its deepest point. Overburden is removed by four different methods:

UCM employs around 95 people full time and operates year-round.

The company has been aggressive in its reclamation efforts. Usibelli coal is ultra-low in sulfur, low nitrogen, high in calcium, and is quick-burning, all very environmentally friendly characteristics. All UCM coal customers have incorporated bag house technologies to reduce particulate emissions.