Regulatory Branch


Published Jan. 30, 2018
Expiration date: 2/20/2018

Knight Hawk Coal, LLC  seeks authorization to develop and operate the Blackhawk Mine Expansion area adjacent to the existing Blackhawk Mine, a surface coal mine located in

Randolph County, Illinois. The project will include an initial box-cut for access to the subsurface coal seams for surface mining operations. Other phases include haulroad construction, overburden removal for coal access, topsoil and texture soil stockpiling, construction of diversion ditches, construction of collector ditches, as well as, sediment pond and final cut lake construction. The existing area includes cropland, forest/trees, herbaceous wildlife habitat, and roads. The total area covered by the proposed mining permit is 385.0 acres. A usage breakdown of the 385.0 acre permit area includes 226.7 acres for surface mining, 5.7 acres for processing areas and support facilities, 6.2 acres (4.4 acres included in the surface mining area) for access, haul roads and transport facilities, 40.4 acres of soil storage areas, 21.2 acres for ditches, and 89.2 acres for highwall/auger mining that will not be surface affected. The proposed permit area will be impacted by surface-mining operations: including removal of overburden, stockpiling of overburden and soils, the excavation and filling of one (1) intermittent stream 4050.9 linear feet in length, fourteen (14) ephemeral stream reaches totaling 10,337.2 linear feet, six (6) forested wetlands totaling 2.86 acres, three (3) emergent wetlands totaling 0.81 acres and a 0.06 acre unconsolidated bottom (PUBx) wetland. A 100' buffer will protect the riparian habitat directly adjacent to Lick Branch. Compensatory, on-site Wetland and Stream mitigation is proposed as part of the reclamation process and will be completed within 7 to 8 years from the commencement of the expansion project.

 The proposed Blackhawk Mine Expansion is located approximately 5 miles southeast of Sparta, Illinois, along the south side of IL Route 154. More specifically, The proposed mine expansion area is located in Section(s) 14, 15, 22 and 23, of Township 5 South, Range 5 West of the 3rd Principle Meridian, Randolph County, IL.

 Written comments must be submitted by replying by electronic mail, or written mail to the addresses shown in the signature block below. The Public Notice comment period opens on January 31, 2018, and closes on February 20, 2018.