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About Our Utah Coal and the Horizon Coal Mine
The Horizon Coal Mine is owned and operated by Hidden Splendor Resources, Inc. a fully owned subsidiary of America West Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ OTC: AWSR)
America West Resources. Inc. (NASDAQ OTC: AWSR) in 2007, became a public company. Through its subsidiary Hidden Splendors Resources, Inc. it operates the Horizon Coal Mine which is located approximately 11 miles west of Helper, in Carbon County, Utah.
The abundant Horizon Coal Mine produces what is commonly known as "steam coal" which is predominately utilized by power plants to produce affordable and clean energy. The Mines currently employ approximately 90 people.
As a one section mine, the Horizon Coal Mine averaged 280,000 tons of coal per year in the last four years. As a multiple-section mine, our experienced management and board of directors believe the mine can generate between 600,000 and 1,000,000 tons per year.
Coal Mining Operations
The mining operations employed at the Horizon Coal Mine are what is known as "room-and-pillar" operations. A room-and-pillar operation involves creating a network of interconnected tunnels in the coal seam. These tunnels are a result from the excavation of a series of "rooms" into the coal bed, leaving "pillars" or columns of coal to help support the mine roof. The rooms and pillars create what, on a map, looks like a series of city streets and blocks, with the streets being the open rooms and the blocks being the pillars of coal.
Using a continuous miner machine, the Horizon Coal miners are able to cut the coal from the seam and place it in shuttle cars, which take the coal from the mining machine to the conveyor belts. The conveyer belts then move the compliant coal out of the mine where it is crushed to size and piled for loading into trucks. Once the coal is on the trucks, it is transported to a variety of America West Resources' clients including several large power plants.
The coal mined at the Horizon Mine is located in the Hiawatha Coal Seam which is in Wasatch Plateau Coal Field. The average height of the coal seam as it runs through the mine is approximately 7 feet. The coal extracted from the Horizon Mine generally has a BTU (British Thermal Unit) value of between 11,500 and 12,300 BTUs. Analysis of the coal produced at the Horizon Mine in August of 2006 has shown BTU levels as high as 12,600. Ash levels in coal substantially affect the value of coal. As it sits in place in the Hiawatha Seam, coal at the Horizon Mine contains ash at levels from 8 percent to 9 percent. Mining of the coal can increase ash levels if the rock on either side of the coal seam is mined and mixed with the coal taken from the seam. The Horizon Mine's ash levels generally test between 8 percent to 12 percent.
Active Coal Reserves
The abundant Horizon Mine has approximately 13 million remaining mineable tons under lease. The majority of this tonnage is part of federal lease given by the Bureau of Land Management while approximately 220,000 tons of the remaining coal mining territory is fee coal owned by the America West Resources' subsidiary, Hidden Splendor. America West Resources' management
predict that the current leased reserves will take roughly 9 to 10 years to mine.
As energy demand grows, coal will be an important part of the nations' abundant and affordable resources. Coal will remain the largest single source of electricity-accounting for more than half of the nation's power generation in 2030. Moreover, 97% of the coal consumed in this country is from domestic mining.
The United States has one of the highest concentrations of coal reserves in the world - truly an abundance of coal. Despite those reserves, coal's price is becoming more sensitive to foreign-demand pressures and events occurring beyond our borders. The U.S. is becoming a major coal exporter, resulting in declining domestic supply. 39% of the world's electricity is currently generated by coal power plants and 135 new power plants are currently in development worldwide.
Coal - An Environmentally Sound Fuel
As energy demand grows, Coal will be an important part of the nations' , abundant and affordable resources. Coal Technologies have resulted in more than 20 new, lower-cost, more efficient and environmentally compatible technologies for electric utilities, steel mills, cement plants and other industries. Coal will remain the largest single source of electricity-accounting for more than half of the nation's power generation in 2025. Coal technologies will help meet these needs, plus continue the decline in sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions already underway.
Coal Washing Facility In order to reduce ash sulfur emissions and increase the heating value of coal making it more economical for transportation, coal is sent through coal washing facilities to separate coal from soil and rock. This higher heating value increases the market value of the coal per ton while making it more attractive for power generators. Coal reduces the burden of retrofitting post combustions control equipment, thus increasing the life of power generating assets.
Coal - An Economic and Energy Solution
The crude oil and natural gas the United States imports accounts for a significant share of America's rising energy and defense expenditures. Instead of importing energy, the United States has the opportunity to take control of the nation's future by tapping into its' abundant coal reserves. By furthering coal to liquid technology research, the United States can reduce energy imports and rely on coal to provide affordable energy and fuels for transportation.
Coal Gasification Coal gasification offers one of the most versatile and clean ways to convert coal into electricity, hydrogen, and other valuable energy products. Rather than burning coal directly, gasification (a thermo-chemical process) breaks down coal - or virtually any carbon-based feedstock - into its basic chemical constituents. The environmental benefits of gasification stem from the capability to achieve extremely low sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions from burning coal-derived gases. It may be one of the best ways to produce clean-burning hydrogen for tomorrow's automobiles and power-generating fuel cells.
Coal to Diesel Technically, coal to diesel is accomplished by a catalyst that removes hydrogen from the molecules. The beauty of the new process is that it is highly selective in which hydrogen atoms it removes from the hydrocarbons, channeling the reactions to produce specific, useful products. The diesel formed by the new catalysts does not include aromatics, so it burns much cleaner, overcoming one of the major objections to diesel fuel. This could lead to more vehicles using diesel engines, which are about 30 percent more efficient than gasoline engines.
Coal By-Products Coal by-products will play a major role in a coal-fired power plant economics and are slowly picking up demand. Major coal by-products include fly ash, sludge and slag which can be used for strengthening for construction materials, providing nutrients to plants to enhance depleted soils for agricultural purposes and for reducing greenhouse gas. By using fly ash for cement production industrial companies can avoid the process of heating a fossil fuel to provide extreme heat, thus preventing carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.
Coal - Fuel for the Future
With the United States coal deposits containing more energy than that of all the world's oil reserves, this economic fuel source will likely continue to be an important source of electricity generation as oil and natural gas prices continue to rise. Currently, coal has the lowest energy costs per million British thermal units (BTUs), while crude oil and natural gas cost four times the amount. Coal products also hold great potential and may soon be contributing to communications and transportation system advancement, computer networks and even space expeditions.
As the nation continues to integrate new ways to utilize coal powered energy and coal products, research and technology will continue to enhance our ability to identify untapped coal reserves and improve the effects of the production and use of coal on the environment.