Controversial Shepherd Bend mining operation canceled

Published: Jun. 20, 2015 at 12:40 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 27, 2015 at 1:05 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A controversial project to mine coal at Shepherd Bend in Walker County won't be happening.

Drummond Company says it will not renew its mining permit for that location and is blaming a drop in worldwide coal prices.

Environmentalists have been opposed to the mine because they believed it could lead to Birmingham's water source being contaminated.

Here is the full statement from the Black Warrior Riverkeeper regarding Drummond Company's announcement.

Here is the full statement from Drummond Company.

"

Drummond Company, Inc. announces it will not renew permit to mine at Shepherd's Bend

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA – Drummond Company, Inc. will not renew its permit to mine coal at the Shepherd's Bend mine project. With the drop in the price of coal worldwide, the Company finds that the development of Shepherd's Bend mine would not yield an acceptable rate of return to justify the investment. This decision comes not because of the attack on the viability of protecting the environment during the process of mining at Shepherd's Bend. The Company would have mined the coal in an environmentally safe manner. As stated, this was brought about by economic reasons, not environmental concerns.

Drummond Company would like to thank the people who have worked tirelessly in trying to bring this project to fruition, including members of the UMWA who were trying to protect their jobs. The Company regrets that so many potential jobs have been lost including the benefits those jobs would have brought to Alabama families, but unfortunately the economics have changed since the Company first started working on this project."

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