The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 7, 2013

Authority, mining company beginning talks

David Hurst

JOHNSTOWN — The Cambria Somerset Authority hopes to start negotiations in the coming weeks with a mining company that is eyeing some of its Conemaugh Township resources.

Just a month after CSA officials said they could potentially see millions in revenue from a planned PBS mine, authority Manager Earl Waddell said serious talk with LCT Energy is getting under way over deep mining rights to 260 acres between Hollsopple and Jerome.

“We own the mineral rights for this property,” Waddell said, adding that LCT first approached CSA in the fall.

Waddell said the CSA coal would be mined as part of the Maple Springs Mine project, which has been in the works for years.

Johnstown-based LCT has already applied for a mining permit for the project, but Waddell said the CSA portion might be an extension to the initial territory LCT planned to mine.

Attempts to reach LCT Energy officials late Thursday for further details were unsuccessful.

The company has kept Conemaugh Township officials apprised of the project, Conemaugh Township Supervisor Steve Buncich said.

LCT officials first approached the township several years ago about tapping the project into the sewage system, he added.

Waddell said CSA’s discussions with LCT are still in very early stages negotiation-wise.  Payment terms for the coal, generally a dollar amount per ton, would be a major part of a deal, although the CSA could also seek to have land protection or environmental issues addressed in the deal – something that was part of a deal in place with PBS Coals for an unrelated proposed deep mine north of the Que.

The situation is different though for the LCT project, Waddell noted, because the Cambria Somerset Authority has no surface land involved.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.