The Tygart No 1 project had previously received all essential federal and state approvals, including a Section 404 permit from the Army Corps of Engineers and a surface mining permit from the WVDEP, but challenges lodged by a local anti-mining organization caused the project to be delayed, the company said.

The WVSMB determined that the anti-mining group’s objections regarding the potential for post-mining water quality problems were adequately addressed in the approved permit and that the WVDEP properly reinstated the permit.

All problems being resolved, the company expects production to reach 3.5 million tons of thermal and high-volatile metallurgical coal at full output.

Ben Hatfield, CEO and president of ICG, said: “We are pleased the Surface Mine Board agrees that our Tygart No. 1 mine plan is environmentally responsible and meets all state regulatory requirements. Our current business plan anticipates that we will resume construction on the Tygart project in mid-2011, with early development production projected for late 2012.”

ICG, a producer of coal in Northern and Central Appalachia and the Illinois Basin, has 13 active mining complexes, of which 12 are located in Northern and Central Appalachia and one in Central Illinois.