Elk Creek Mine


Oxbow Mining, LLC

Rail Loading Point

Somerset, Colorado

Background on Mine

Developed in 2003, the Elk Creek Mine, located near Somerset in Gunnison County, Colorado, annually produces approximately 6,000,000 tons of high-quality steam coal. This underground longwall mine uses two continuous miners for development. It operates in the "D" Seam in Gunnison County, North Fork Valley. From the mining face, the coal is conveyed directly to one of two stack tubes, then into a reclaim system, and finally into the batch-weigh bin loading facility. Prior to shipping, all coal is screened and crushed to a nominal size of 2"x0".

Coal from the Elk Creek Mine can also be supplied as stoker coal, which is processed and loaded from Oxbow Carbon & Minerals LLC's Terror Creek Processing and Loadout facility located in Paonia, Co.

Oxbow Mining LLC operated the Sanborn Creek Mine from 1991-2003.

Mine Type


Recoverable Reserves

+65,000,000 tons

Current Annual Production Capacity

6,000,000 tons

Loadout Description and/or Configuration

Direct train loading using batch-weigh bin system.

Weighing System

Kanawa scales with batch-weigh bin loading.

Loading Rate per Hour

+6,000 tons

Load Track Configuration and Capacity

Double ended empty/load track paralleling main track, 58 cars between silo and east clearance point. Loading trains occupy main line.

Loading Mode

Up grade with locomotive power.

Maximum Cars Per Train

115 cars

Washing Capability


Coal Specifications

12,000+ Btu/lb., 0.43% Sulphur

Composition Analysis
  As Received Dry Basis
Moisture 8.00% --
Ash 8.25% 8.90%
Volatile Matter 34.00% 36.75%
Fixed Carbon 50.00% 54.00%
Heating Value Btu/lb 12,000 13,000
Sulphur 0.43% 0.46%
Mineral Analysis of Ash
  Dry Basis
Silica 53.20
Alumina 24.37
Titania 0.88
Ferric Oxide 6.26
Lime 4.59
Magnesia 1.43
Potassium Oxide 1.40
Sodium Oxide 1.19
Sulphur Trioxide 2.98
Phos. Pentoxide 0.63
Strontium Oxide 0.16
Barium Oxide 0.28
Magnesium Oxide N/A
Undetermined 2.60
Fusion Temperature of Ash (°F)
  Reducing Oxidizing
Initial Deformation 2,398 2,529
Softening (H=W) 2,476 2,594
Softening (H=1/2W) 2,509 2,632
Fluid 2,636 2,722
Other Characteristics
Hardgrove Grindability Index 50+
Free Swelling Index   1.5
Silica Value 83.00