Gateway Mine is a non-union underground room and pillar mine in Randolph County near Coulterville, Illinois, owned by Peabody Energy.
- Owner: Black Beauty Coal Company
- Parent company: Peabody Energy
- Location: 13101 Zeigler mine Rd, Coulterville, Illinois
- Production: 3.2 million tons (2008)
- Type of coal: Steam
- Mine type: Underground
- Number of employees: 220
- Recoverable Reserves: 16 million tons
The mine began production in July 2005. In 2008, the mine sold 3.2 million tons of steam coal, primarily to major utility and industrial customers in the mid-West.
On Sep. 27, 2010, Peabody announced that it plans to expand yearly production capacity at its Gateway mine by 40%. The $175-million project will extend the life of the operation at least 16 years, by increasing underground operations north of the existing site and digging up around 4.5 million tons of coal a year. Gateway has an additional 280-million tons of reserves available for expansion “in favorable market conditions”, Peabody said. The project still requires permitting and regulatory approval, and the company has started work on licensing and mine engineering for the expansion. 
IN THE NEWS
A public hearing will be held on the renewal of the Illinois EPA’s NPDES Water Discharge Permit for Peabody’s Coulterville Gateway mine, June 8th, 2011 at 6pm in the Sparta City Council Chambers. This hearing was requested on behalf of residents of Randolph County, Illinois Chapter of Sierra Club and Prairie Rivers Network. This is an underground coal mine looking to expand their mining operation, coal washing slurry disposal cells and disposal of coal ash onsite. A proposed expansion to the north could double coal production, with corresponding increases in coal refuse and slurry generated. Area residents are already concerned about the massive refuse disposal areas onsite – which also take on coal ash – and the negative impacts that air and water pollution from the site may have on for local health and water quality.
The proposed north portal is situated adjacent to a new county nursing home, will require filling in streams and wetlands, and will cause pollution to run into a tributary of Coulterville’s community drinking water reservoir. Neighbors near the existing facility are already impacted by fugitive coal dust and potential groundwater contamination. Additionally there are a number of old gob piles nearby that are leaking and adding to the pollution burden on local streams.
We disagree with Illinois EPA’s decision to issue this permit because (1) there are existing pollution problems onsite that must be addressed first, (2) the new permit does not take into account the proposed expansion, (3) the permit does not guarantee that coal ash disposal at the site won’t cause air and water pollution and (4) the permit allows Gateway to pollute a freshwater lake onsite in order to dilute their waste.
Illinois EPA needs to hear from citizens in favor of protecting clean water. The public hearing is your chance to bring information to Illinois EPA’s attention and have your concerns heard. If you cannot attend the hearing you may still submit comments:
Written comments must be postmarked or e-mailed by midnight, July 8, 2011, when the hearing record closes. E-mails must specify Gateway Mine NPDES in the subject line and must be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The hearing record is a file containing the hearing transcript and written comments. Comments need not be notarized and should be sent to:
Hearing Officer Dean Studer
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
1021 North Grand Avenue East
P. O. Box 19276
Springfield, IL 62794-9276
What: Illinois EPA Public Hearing on proposed NPDES Water Discharge Permit for Peabody Coulterville Mining, L.L.C.’s Gateway Mine
Where: Sparta City Council Chambers, Sparta City Hall, 114 West Jackson Street, Sparta, Illinois 62286
When: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.
Background: Notice of Public Hearing , Draft NPDES Permit