Wishbone Hill

A view of the Mat-Su valley
A view of the Mat-Su Valley

The proposed Wishbone Hill coal strip mine is located approximately 5 miles west of Sutton, Alaska and 10 miles north east of Palmer, Alaska. Although there were some mining activities in the early 20th century, Wishbone Hill is now surrounded by residential communities in Alaska’s Matanuska Valley.  Usibelli Coal Mine finalized the purchase of 7,434 acres of Wishbone Hill leases in 1997.   The leases contain an estimated 14 million tons of bituminous coal, which Usibelli plans to sell to international markets.  It is unclear if there is currently a purchase agreement in place.

Map showing the location of the proposed Wishbone Hill coal mine.

Location of the proposed Wishbone Hill coal mine. Click to Enlarge

Usibelli hold a surface coal mining permit for the Wishbone Hill Leases from the Department of Natural Resources that is valid through 2011.  Usibelli is in the pre-application process for an air quality permit with the Department of Environmental Conservation. According to Usibelli’s Rob Brown, they plan to build a pioneer haul road to the mine site and begin test drilling and sampling in the summer of 2010.  Usibelli intends to sample 5-10 tons of coal and ship it from Seward to the Lower 48 for testing.

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Download the Wishbone Hill Fact Sheet (PDF)