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Archive for February 27th, 2020

Originally published in The Seattle Times, February 27, 1991

Open-pit excavations may take county refuse

By Charles Aweeka
Times South bureau

Trucks at the Pacific Coast Coal Co. wait to haul fine coal to Ravensdale where it will be loaded onto railroad cars and shipped to various locations locally and abroad. (Chien-Chi Chang/Seattle Times)

BLACK DIAMOND — One hundred and fifty feet below the earth’s surface, the coal in John Henry No. 1 Mine crunched beneath our mud-caked boots and shimmered in the sunshine.

“The blacker and shinier it is, the better it is,” said Mark Abernathy, business manager for the Pacific Coast Coal Co., which started the open-pit coal mine in 1986.

We were standing on what Abernathy calls a humpback because it resembles the back of a whale but what actually was the base of a 50-foot-wide seam of coal.

The mine may take on a new purpose soon.

Once the excavation reaches a depth of 250 feet, the Pacific Coast Coal Co. and John Henry Reclamation Inc. have proposed to use the pit as a landfill for King County construction, demolition and land-clearing debris.

The mining will go on simultaneously in another area of the pit, say the owners. (more…)

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