On January 13, 2015, CAER’s Outreach and Technical Assistance Coordinator, Greg Copley arranged for a group of Centre College freshmen to tour Licking River Resources’ surface mine in Magoffin County.  Dr. Marie Nydam’s Economic, Environmental and Social Effects of Coal Mining in Eastern Kentucky class of 13 students spent roughly 5 hours at the site observing the coal extraction and washing processes.

Licking River’s Vice President Chris Lacy and Keith Fletcher, Land Manager provided the tour and discussed coal’s role in eastern Kentucky as an economic and energy driver. This was the first opportunity for many students to be in eastern KY and go on an active mine site. Many comments were made regarding the complexity of mining, the size of the equipment and the abilities of the miners. The class also witnessed the blasting of a new mine section.

Finally a tour and explanation of the company’s award worthy reclamation efforts occurred. The participants learned how reclaimed land are habitat for a variety of wildlife including elk, turkey, and free range horses.