Utah firm purchases Southwest Virginia businesses

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Salt Lake City-based Savage has purchased two Southwest Virginia companies that remove and process waste coal.

Savage, a supply-chain solutions company, announced Tuesday that it has purchased Gobco LLC and Power Fuels LLC. Abingdon-based Gobco specializes in the removal of waste coal piles from abandoned mines and restoration of land, steams and forests.

The waste coal, known as gob, is separated from rock and transported by truck to the Power Fuels terminal in St. Paul. There the gob is blended with coal and used to generate electricity at Dominion Virginia Power’s Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center.

There are hundreds of waste coal piles in the region, some dating back more than a century. After removing waste coal, Gobco replaces topsoil and plants grass at the sites to help transform the land to its pre-mining appearance. The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) facilitates the planting of tree seedlings as part of the state’s Abandoned Mine Land Program, with funding from U.S. Office of Surface Mining grants.

Since 2004, Gobco has cleaned up approximately 6 million tons of waste coal and participated in the reclamation of hundreds of acres of waste coal sites throughout Southwest Virginia. Gobco recently completed the removal of approximately 1 million tons of waste coal from the Hurricane Creek site in Russell County. includes ongoing reclamation work in partnership with DMME and Dominion.

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