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Horizon mine reopens Wildcat loadout facility


Sun Advocate associate editor

Record revenue, production in 1st half of year

Last Wednesday, a Utah Railway train 104 cars long inched its way under a thick black stream of coal at the Horizon Mine's Wildcat loadout.

It was a sight that hasn't been seen at the site off Consumer's Road since February 2010, a sign of the increased production going on.

"It's a job creator," remarked Dan Baker, chief executive officer of mine owner America West Resources. While the loadout itself employs about a half dozen people, the mine supplying the coal further up the canyon is now up to 130 workers above and below ground.

The mine has secured two big contracts with PacifiCorp and the Intermountain Power Agency, Baker explained, and has moved from mine development to full production.

Horizon is now producing at a pace of about 500,000 to 600,000 tons per year, according to Richard Bourdeaux, managing director coal sales and engineering for America West.

It has also geared up for much smaller sales. As of Monday, Baker said, the mine will be selling by the pickup load as well, providing lump and stoker coal for individual users.

For the first of of 2011, America West has posted a 67 percent increase in revenue, going to $7.5 million from $4.5 million for the same period last year.

The Horizon Mine specializes in production of "compliant coal" - high BTU, low sulfur - suited for power plant boilers.

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