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Quinn Announces a New Mine Opening Downstate

By Kevin Robinson in News on Oct 26, 2010 3:40PM

Photo by Michigan Radio.
Speaking at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources office in downstate Benton, Governor Pat Quinn announced the opening of a new coal mine that will bring over 600 news jobs to the area - 300 in construction and 350 in production. The White Oak Mine #1, operated by White Oak Resources LLC, is the first of four mines that are expected to open in the area. "We know the people of Southern Illinois know how to do a mining job better than anyone else on the planet," Quinn told the crowd of locals and reporters gathered for the announcement.

Department of Natural Resources officials say that Hamilton County will receive over $6 million in royalties from the mine's operation, as well as the economic impact of jobs in production, and in service and supply associated with the mine's operation. Those support jobs are expected to be spread throughout the region. "There's a lot of supply and contracting services jobs that service that one coal mining job. So all together, I think the number of jobs, all together is 2,450, direct and indirect jobs," Quinn said.

State Senator Gary Forby noted that state officials worked to help expedite the permitting process to get the mine opened in a timely fashion. "A couple White Oaks guys said you know Gary, we have an issue here," Forby told ABC affiliate WSIL. "He said, it might be two years before we can get a permit, if it's two years, we might not be around in 2 years, I said that's not acceptable." The White Oak mine is expected to start producing coal in late 2012 or early 2013.