Area Development
White Oak Resources is planning a coal mine northeast of McLeansboro, Illinois, in Hamilton County. The company will invest more than $400 million to build the mine, and create 350 permanent jobs.

"While the coal mining industry has been particularly hard hit by the recent economic recession, White Oak remains committed to developing its reserves in Hamilton County," said White Oak President Scott Spears. "With these permits now in hand, we look forward to the next steps in the process of building a world-class operation that will not only bring high paying jobs to the area, but also bring additional high quality production to the Illinois Basin."

The new mine, dubbed White Oak Mine #1, is expected to open by late 2012 or early 2013. It will be able to produce 7.5 million tons of coal each year.