Signal Peak Energy
Signal Peak Energy is a partnership between an entity owned by Wayne M. Boich, Ohio-based utility company FirstEnergy Ventures, and Pinesdale, LLC, a wholly-owned affiliate of Gunvor Group Ltd., one of the world’s leading commodity traders.
In 2008, Mr. Boich’s entity and FirstEnergy Ventures purchased Signal Peak Coal Mine (formerly Bull Mountain mine), a high-Btu thermal coal mine just south of Roundup, MT. Gunvor Group, through Pinesdale, purchased a share of the mine in 2011. Each investor now owns a one-third share of the mine.
Signal Peak is Montana’s only underground coal mine, with 431 million tons of raw recoverable reserves. In 2012, Signal Peak Energy mined nearly six million clean tons of coal and anticipates growing that to between eight and nine million tons in 2013.
In addition to the underground mine, Signal Peak also has 109 million tons of raw recoverable surface reserves. Signal Peak is in the process of permitting the surface operations with the hope of have this operational by 2015. The plan will be to mine two to five million tons a year.
The mine recovers coal using an underground continuous miner and longwall mining equipment. . Since acquiring the mine, the investors built a completely new infrastructure and transformed the formerly humble site from several older buildings and little external infrastructure to a large industrial complex. The site now consists of a new office, warehouse, and shop, as well as a new wash plant capable of cleaning 2,000 tons of coal an hour, two storage silos, and an extensive conveyor system.
The preparation plant processes run-of-mine coal into clean (shippable) coal. A 35 mile rail line runs from the mine to the BNSF main rail line in Broadview, MT. At maximum capacity, the Signal Peak mine facility can load seven trains per day of 120 to 150 cars.
Signal Peak Mine plays an important role in the local economy. It currently employs 330 people with an annual payroll of $37.6 million dollars.
The owners of the mine are committed to continue to make Signal Peak the most successful and safe underground mine of its kind in the country.