Coal production is underway at a new mine in western Kentucky.
Lexington-based Rhino Resource Partners says coal is being produced at the new Riveredge Mine in McLean County, and commercial shipments should begin in a few weeks.
The company announced plans for the mine seven years ago, and began excavations at the site last summer.
Officials tell the Owensboro Messenger-Enquirer that the company plans to employ about 200 workers by the end of 2015. The firm hopes to produce 800,000 tons of coal during the first full year of operation, and expand that to 2 million tons a year as the mine grows.
The mine currently employs about 55 workers.
The operation begins as the Federal EPA calls for stricter air pollution regulations at coal-fired power plants