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August 30, 2001

Ryan Announces Reopening of Southern Illinois Coal Mine

HARRISBURG -- Gov. George H. Ryan today announced the planned reopening of Liberty Mine in Saline County, which will rehire 120 coal miners.

Governor Ryan said the state is assisting the Liberty Coal Company with Illinois Coal Infrastructure Grants to reopen the mine formerly known as Brushy Creek Mine.

"A wide variety of energy issues, including problems in California, have refocused the nation's attention on coal," Ryan said. "This announcement is a sign that we are succeeding in our efforts to revitalize the state's coal industry and put Illinois coal miners back to work."

"Through the support of existing programs, and the landmark $3.5 billion coal incentive legislation he signed earlier this summer, Governor Ryan is showing tremendous leadership in re-energizing the Illinois coal industry," said DCCA Director Pam McDonough.

Plans call for the company to resume underground mining at its site near Galatia using the No. 5 coal seam and upgrading the existing No. 6 seam mine infrastructure. These operations are expected to take several months and No. 5 coal production is scheduled to begin by early 2002.

"This initiative will allow us to increase our coal output by several hundred thousand tons a year," Ryan added. "This comes at a critical time as we also look forward to developing new markets through our incentives to build new, clean, coal-fired power plants in Illinois."


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