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Trump wishes the best for new coal mine in Somerset County

Deb Erdley
ExchangeCoalMining1
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
A driller drills blast holes in the pit of the Acosta Deep Mine in Jenner Township on Tuesday, Feb.28, 2017.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Surrounded by Qucreek Mine memorabilia, John and Betty Rhoads, owners of Our Coal Miners Cafe in Jennerstown, pose for a portrait in between talking about the history of coal mining in Somerset County, inside their restaurant Thursday, June 8, 2017. Corsa Coal was celebrating the grand opening of their Acosta Deep Mine later in the day.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Photos and memorabilia from the Qucreek Mine fill the walls at Our Coal Miners Cafe on June 8, 2017, in Jennerstown. Corsa Coal was celebrating the grand opening of their Acosta Deep Mine later in the day.

JENNER TOWNSHIP — In a party tent deep in the Somerset County hills, Corsa Coal Company opened its first new deep mine in six years in a Thursday afternoon ceremony unlike anything seen in this struggling industry.

Even President Donald Trump, juggling controversy over Thursday’s testimony from fired FBI head James Comey, took a few minutes to address the ceremony. In a video hook-up displayed on big-screen TVs at the front of the podium, Trump reminded the miners and mine operators of the campaign promises that swung him a 3-1 victory in this rural Pennsylvania county.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be speaking with you on this great, great day. The miners of Pennsylvania are mining coal again,” he told the excited crowd gathered for the event.

Miners on Tuesday took the first cut at the mine that will produce metallurgical coal for the steel industry. Company officials said the mine, which is expected to produce coal for the next 15 years, ultimately will employ 70-100 miners.

The mine is at the bottom of a 120-foot-deep pit that it took six months to excavate in the midst of a former farm field. Officials said the initial investment, underwritten in part by a $3 million state grant, totaled $14 to $15 million.

Trump hailed it as a new chapter in the history of American mining, which has suffered serious declines in recent years.

“Washington may be 180 miles down the road, but I want you to know each and every day I’m fighting for you and all the forgotten men and women of America,” he said.

Tribune-Review reporters Deb Erdley and Stephen Huba attended the opening of the Acosta Mine in Somerset County. Below are their tweets, photos and videos from the event.

Grand opening of Corsa Coal's Acosta Deep Mine in Freidens, Pa.

Posted by TribLive on Thursday, June 8, 2017

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