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McLean County Officials File Response in Hartshorne Coal Mine Lawsuit

The Australian company developing a coal mine in McLean County reports that construction is accelerating. That move comes as county officials respond to a lawsuit filed by brothers who own land near the mine site. 

The Mclean County Fiscal Court and the McLean County Joint Planning Commission filed a response in McLean Circuit Court to allegations by brothers Gordon and Ken Bryant that approvals for the Hartshorne Mine were not in line with required procedures.

The Bryants also claim the project is inconsistent with the county’s comprehensive plan because the mine is in an agricultural area and a flood zone.  

In a joint response, the fiscal court and planning commission generally denied the allegations. County officials have approved the plan for the project, as well as a zoning change from agricultural to industrial, and a conditional use permit for the coal washing operation and refuse dump.

At its meeting on Oct. 27, the planning commission will consider Hartshorne Mining's proposal for a dock on the Green River to load barges to transport coal.

Evansville, Indiana-based Hartshorne Mining is developing the Poplar Grove Mine with its Australian parent company, Paringa Resources. An Oct. 19 update on the company website says the structural steel foundations for the coal handling and preparation plant with be erected in the coming weeks.