Cabinet for Economic Development

Press Release Date:  Friday, August 03, 2007  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

Project will result in 923 new jobs with a total annual payroll of more than $45 million


FRANKFORT, Ky. Governor Ernie Fletcher visited Ohio County today to celebrate Armstrong Coal Company’s plans to resume coal production at the dormant Big Run underground mine in Ohio County.  The project is expected to create 415 jobs at first and 923 jobs after four years.  Average annual wages will be approximately $48,900, and total annual payroll will be more than $45 million on full employment.


Kentucky is pleased to partner with Armstrong Coal in its effort to revitalize the Big Run mine," said Governor Fletcher.  “This project, which will employ more than 900 Kentuckians at full capacity, will have an enormous economic impact on the region.”


Plans for Armstrong Coal, formed in 2006, call for resumption of production at Big Run, construction of preparation plants and mixing facilities at a rail loading facility known as “Midway,” as well as at a former barge loading facility known as “Smallhous Dock.”  The company also will rebuild a rail spur at the Midway facility and renovate the barge terminal.


“Armstrong Coal was seeking a community prepared to demonstrate its commitment to the coal industry before making an investment of this magnitude,” said Lexington-based attorney Mason Miller, speaking on behalf of Armstrong Coal.  “The incentives approved last week will permit Armstrong Coal to take immediate steps to reopen mines in western Kentucky and begin to contribute to the revitalization of the Kentucky coal industry.”


The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Armstrong Coal for tax benefits up to $16 million under the Kentucky Industrial Revitalization Act, an incentive program to encourage the rehabilitation of manufacturing or coal mining and processing operations that are in imminent danger of permanently closing or that have closed temporarily. 


Under a 2007 amendment to the act, companies reopening coal mines that have been permanently closed may also be eligible for KIRA benefits.  Before final approval of the project can be given, a third-party consultant must conduct a feasibility study and find that a project is financially feasible.  Benefits also are contingent upon employment of 500 persons by the company within the commonwealth. 


A community profile for Ohio County can be found at the following link:




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