Massey Energy Co. reports it has begun to develop a new mine in Raleigh County, WV, that will begin producing as much as 2 million tons/year of metallurgical coal by 2011. Plans to develop Rowland reserve were announced to investors in October. More developments are planned in the area, the company said. The company estimated that its capital expenditures for the mine and associated processing plant and facilities will range from $100 million to $160 million, beginning this year and continuing through 2012. Massey chairman and CEO, Don Blankenship, said current and forecasted shortages of metallurgical coal made the development timely. “"We are increasingly optimistic about the strength of the metallurgical coal markets around the world,” he stated. The Rowland reserve is adjacent to Massey’s existing mining operation at Marfork. Massey acquired the property in 1998, with more acquisitions expanding the holding in 2008. The new development is said to contain 56 million tons of mostly low and mid-volatile metallurgical coal Blankenship explained: "We have the required permits in hand for the development of the slope and shaft into the main deep mine in the Beckley seam and we are now moving forward as quickly as possible. The development of this property further enhances our position as Central Appalachia's largest coal producer and one of the largest met coal producers in the country."