The state’s energy consumption continues to grow along with the economy, and Luminant’s new Liberty Mine is here to help, not only by producing more lignite for powering Texas but also creating jobs and a positive economic impact for East Texas.
Liberty Mine opened in September, continuing our nearly 40-year commitment to Rusk County. With Beckville Mine nearing the end of its productivity, Liberty Mine will help supply an average of nearly 3 million tons of lignite per year – enough to power approximately 250,000 homes for one year in normal conditions – to the nearby Martin Lake Power Plant.
The 4,000-acre mine will help power Texas in more ways than one. In fact, an economic impact study conducted by the University of North Texas for the Texas Mining and Reclamation Association states, “Coal mining and coal-fired electricity generation are important economic engines in Texas. Moreover, as a reliable local source of fuel for electric power generation, Texas lignite coal is an important component of our power source diversification efforts and makes us more energy independent, which makes Texas a more competitive place to do business.”
The study also finds that recurring operations at Liberty Mine are estimated to generate $111 million in total annual economic activity, supporting more than 650 direct, indirect and induced jobs that will pay nearly $36 million each year in salaries, wages and benefits. The new mine also will create direct and indirect revenues for state and local governments and school districts totaling $9.7 million each year.
In addition to providing numerous economic benefits, Luminant is committed to being a good neighbor in Rusk County, continuing our longstanding history of environmental stewardship and reclamation excellence. Our dedication begins during the permitting and construction phase at all mine sites and continues until the mined land is reclaimed and returned to productive postmine uses.
As an environmentally responsible company, Luminant also is committed to controlling air quality. With the Liberty Mine loading station now in full operation, dust suppression measures underway during construction have been further established, as is done at all mine sites. Specifically at Liberty Mine, watering is performed around the clock as needed by tanker trucks, and a surfactant has been applied to unpaved roads, among other dust-mitigation activities.
Luminant’s commitment to environmental management extends through the reclamation process, as exemplified by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Eastern wild turkey restoration effort at the nearby Oak Hill Mine.
Members of Luminant’s environmental team, along with TPWD representatives, released 80 new feathered residents on more than 10,000 acres of reclaimed land in Rusk County this past spring. The release is one of the first steps in helping restore the birds to their historic range in East Texas.
These initiatives are just a few examples of the company’s continued dedication to environmental stewardship. Luminant is consistently recognized with national and state awards for reclamation excellence, including accolades for a recent largemouth bass genetic research project in partnership with TPWD at Big Brown Mine.
Liberty Mine By The Numbers
From its economic impact to the size of its equipment, Liberty Mine pulls in some BIG numbers. See the sizeable stats below.
Two 13-million-pound draglines – each roughly the size of a small high school gym – are currently operating at the mine. They have a boom up to 330 feet long, about the length of a football field, and weigh as much as 200 train cars.
- Each dragline bucket can hold 110 cubic yards of overburden, or the rock and soil that lies above coal; visually, the inside of the bucket is about the size of a living room. See the new technology that powered the recent dragline relocation effort.
- In one year, Liberty Mine can produce enough lignite to fill nearly 30,000 train cars.
- Luminant’s mining fleet is the eighth largest in the nation and the largest in Texas.
- About 60 percent of acres reclaimed each year are reforested and certified by the America Tree Farm System as sustainably managed woodlands. The U.S. Department of the Interior has also determined that Luminant plants more trees annually than any other coal mine operator in the nation.
- Martin Lake plant and its supporting mines give tens of thousands of dollars to worthwhile projects and community organizations, such as the United Way of Rusk and Gregg counties, Rusk County Boys and Girls Club and the Junior Achievement of East Texas. Employees also give back to the area through volunteerism, supporting the Adopt-a-Highway program, Angel Tree Child Advocacy agency and Habitat for Humanity, among others.