Manalapan Mining Company (MMC) was incorporated in 1983 and operated as a coal mining entity in Harlan and Bell counties in southeastern Kentucky.
MMC operated surface and underground coal operations until the company filed a voluntary bankruptcy petition under Chapter 7 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Mining subsidiaries Left Fork Mining Co. and Cloverfork Mining Co. also were included in the petition. While some assets were sold off during bankruptcy proceedings, many of the mine permits required reclamation. Those became subject to a reclamation project led by NewBridge Services.
NewBridge inspected 11 permits to determine reclamation obligations related to the remaining $2.7 million in bonds. The bonds on the permits came in three different forms – certificates of deposit, surety bonds, and letters of credit.
NewBridge worked with multiple entities for the purpose of determining how reclamation could be completed so that bonds could be released with no financial losses to the bonding entities. That required interaction with the surety that issued the bonds, the bank that held the letters of credit, and with Kentucky’s Department of Natural Resources (KYDNR).
NewBridge negotiated an Agreed Order for Reclamation with KYDNR. That Order required bonding entities to forfeit all bonds to the KYDNR, which was then authorized to collect $376 to satisfy delinquent bond pool fees.
Once NewBridge completed on-ground reclamation, KYDNR released to the bonding entities the 90 percent it was holding back. The remaining 10 percent was released when revegetation efforts proved successful after two growing seasons.
On-ground reclamation of the eleven permits began in 2016. With immediate bond releases of two undisturbed areas, NewBridge was able to complete reclamation work in eight months.
Under the reclamation plan, approximately 150 acres of mined land was graded and seeded; a mining highwall, 80 feet high and 150 feet long was backfilled, graded, and seeded; two dozen sedimentation ponds were eliminated; several mine facility structures were demolished; and four mine portals were sealed.