Semi-Anthracite Near Bernice, Mildred and Lopez, Pa

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HarryE
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Post Wed. Sep. 03, 2008 12:26 pm

About 50 miles due west of the Wyoming Valley lies Sullivan County, PA. The areas surrounding Bernice, Mildred and Lopez in that county produced semi-anthracite coal, which is one step down in hardness from anthracite. Semi-anthracite as I understand it has most of the qualities of anthracite but burns a little hotter. I recently passed through this area and saw what appears to be abandoned coal lands. I know that coal from this region until recently was shipped to the NYSEG power plant in Big Flats, New York and to some PA State institutions such as Bloomsburg University.

Does anyone know if there is active mining in Sullivan County? Does anyone have knowledge of semi-anthracite coal reserves there? Does anyone on this forum now burn semi-anthracite?


lzaharis
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Post Wed. Sep. 03, 2008 6:25 pm

I thought the old hickling plant was shut down by AES as they were burning lousy poor bituminous coal? :shock:

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HarryE
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Post Thu. Sep. 04, 2008 9:38 am

They may have burned bituminous because there were either no semi-anthracite suppliers left or the coal seams were depleted. That's what I'd like to find out.

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Richard S.
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Post Thu. Sep. 04, 2008 10:06 am

I had a lot of customers there and they were happy to pay the extra bucks for it. My Uncle most definitely had customers up there when those places were in operation. Not sure if they were when I took over. Having gone by there a few(hundred)times between Lopez and Mildred I've seen what appeared to be activity at that facility on the left right before you get into Mildred if you're coming from Lopez. Nothing to indicate what it was. Haven't been up that way in about 2 years.

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Chris Murley
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Post Thu. Sep. 04, 2008 4:33 pm

we don't know of anything left out that way......... ;) :roll:

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Post Fri. Sep. 05, 2008 12:43 pm

after riding my harley on the sullivan-braford county wine tour. we seen activity outside of mildred with what looks like new mounds of fresh coal and a new building and trucks on 487. the road from mildred to US 220 has at least one mine with a sign out front with tele numbers . don't know if in operation. friends of mine used to burn coal from here and liked it... so I guess it depends on the mine.... sound familar????? I have some old stuff from there from my railroad when they hauled it to towanda.. may try a test burn later when I take my system down for pm's so ya there is some activity going on there. one rumer flying a year ago that barclay moutain in bradford county( 20 miles from midred} has anthracite 2000 feet down...looking at maybe restarting mining up there,,, the top was taken off for bituminus in the early- mid 80'S....
we are in the bitumanus- semi anthracite region.... and as others on this forum can testify to to there is still some shiny coal in there hills.......

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HarryE
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Post Fri. Sep. 05, 2008 3:27 pm

More information coming in. I thought that they stopped mining the Barclay deposit a long time ago. The Barclay was an offshoot of the Bloss coal seams which are (were) semi-bituminous. I'm pretty sure that actual mining of the Bloss seam in Tioga County stopped mid 80's, although Phoenix Resources is supposedly expanding their construction debris landfill near Antrim and pulling out some of the remaining coal. There is a little stub of the Bloss seam currently being mined at English Center North of Williamsport in Lycoming County by the Fisher Mining Co. That coal is trucked to the AES Cayuga Power Plant north of Ithaca.

This is interesting. Here we have semi-bituminous, semi-anthracite and true anthracite with only about a 75 mile separation between them as the crow flies. However there is still no definitive answer as to the nature and extent and current status of the semi-anthracite deposits in Sullivan County.

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Post Thu. Sep. 11, 2008 12:49 am

I live about 10 miles from Hickling Plant. I think NYSEG restarted that plant about a year ago. I will do some checking into this and see if I can find out what their using for fuel there. I do believe though that they did restart operations there. I belong to a Vol. Fire Dept. and remember them have a small fire there a short time ago.

Jeff


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Post Thu. Sep. 11, 2008 9:46 am

I did a litle checking and there is one active permit listed for an "Incidental Coal Extraction" facility at the Mildred #2 Mine. The permit is held by Falcon Coal and Construction Co, Mildred, PA. I don't know exactly what it means, but it is the only active mining permit listed for Sullivan County and it was listed with the Bituminous permits, not the Anthracite permits.

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HarryE
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Post Thu. Sep. 11, 2008 3:22 pm

Very interesting. I know for a fact that the coal seams in the Bernice/Mildred/Lopez area are (were) semi-anthracite. Perhaps if it not absolutely true hardness anthracite, it must be listed with the bituminous?

Incidental mining? I've heard of open pit mining, drift mining and deep mining but "incidental" is something new. :lol:

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idigghx
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Post Sun. Jul. 26, 2009 7:55 am

Yes, there is still active mining taking place by Falcon. Mildred No. 2 is on the right, just as you leave Bernice, going toward Lopez on 487. Incidental extraction means that coal is found, while construction or excavation is taking place. They're reclaiming that whole area, leveling out and filling in. I was up top for a forest fire seven or eight years ago, and we had to carefully navigate out after dark because of the pits. Today.. Most of them aren't there anymore, they've been filled in and turned into food plots or fields. They've been reclaiming for almost 15 years now.

In May, a Lancaster Co. company was paid over $770,000.00 to back fill the last pits up on top, and tear down the breaker. They have been dumping human waste from NYC and it's pretty well greened up. The smell is horrible, however, esp. if it gets muggy after rain. But where it was once shale and coal as far as the eye could see, is now green grass. I don't know which I like better, because I think the area could use the industry. When the Pastusic Mining operation closed, the owner said there was over 100 Million Tons that weren't mined, either by strip or deep mining. I don't know if it's that expansive, but my great grandfather was a miner in Bernice, died of black lung in fact. He said that when they stopped deep mining, there was a hell of a lot of coal that hadn't been touched. Hundreds of acres and many levels.

Somewhere around here I have glass plate negatives of them building the two breakers in Murraytown (the speckle of company homes on 487 halfway between Bernice and Lopez). One was claimed to be the largest in America.

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HarryE
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Post Sun. Jul. 26, 2009 10:55 am

Do you know where the coal that is being recovered goes? I don't know if we can put any faith in that 100 million ton reserve claim. But even if recoverable reserves are half of that figure, this is still a significant resource for the future after the gas from the Marcellus is used up.

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idigghx
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Post Tue. Jul. 28, 2009 9:15 am

No idea who's buying it. I do know the owner of that company, in fact I used to live next door to him. We'd talk Barclay Mtn. mining a lot, but not such much Bernice. I was more into the past, rather than the present. In the late 80's, in the school there in Mildred, the two most exciting things to hear was the fire whistle blowing and the mine horn. Either we'd get to see the town fire truck go by, or the windows would be rattling from dynamiting. We all joked when they were doing that seismic testing, all their data would look great in and around Bernice. Because it was echoing through all the underground shafts. :roll:

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Post Mon. Jun. 28, 2010 10:30 pm

An old thread but I found some more info on Hickling Station in Corning.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=AES_Hi ... tion_Plant

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Post Mon. Jan. 10, 2011 1:04 am

i use to work in sullivan semi hard coal in 1989 to 1992 for first century corporation for 6 months then it went bankrupt , then suscon sales took over 1990 until late 1992 thats when they show it down moved down to scranton at the other mine they have but it didn't last long went bankrupt. 1994 or 1995 not sure but mining took place until 2002or 2004 when the owner pass on and mine shut down no one to take over . Falcon coal is a reclaimed old coal that was left behind from old under ground mine and or possable strip mining . right now there is nothing going on down there but there are plenty of coal to be mine out for powerplant,coal bagging, etc.. I like to reopen that mine back up and get people working again. David


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