New coal mining in Black Diamond? Not such a blast to some

BLACK DIAMOND, Wash. — In 1910, Bill Guerrini’s father immigrated from Italy to work in the coal mines of Black Diamond.

photoBut others in Black Diamond are expressing concern over a coal company’s decision to restart coal mining at the long-defunct John Henry mine.

On April 2, the Pacific Coast Coal Co. sent a letter to Black Diamond residents notifying them the company would resume mining at the 110-year-old coal pit. Mining would include noisy blasting operations, something the company called an “essential component” in the 160-acre mine not far from area homes.

“Pacific Coast Coal Company (PCCC) hereby announces its intention to detonate explosives during its mining operations,” a letter sent to Black Diamond residents read.

Blasting will occur between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and last until possibly June 30, 2015, another letter stated. The company intends to mine 700,000 tons of coal over six years, concerned residents said.