The start of underground work on a coal mine in LeFlore County on the Arkansas-Oklahoma border has officials expecting a drop in the county's unemployment rate that is approaching 10 percent.
Up to 400 jobs are expected to be created with the subsurface operation is in full stride in the Heavener area next year. Samples taken from the mine shows the coal is low- to -mid volatile hard coking coal — a type that is sought by steel mill operators.
The mine is south of two existing coal mines near Spiro, Okla., and is south of the Sebastian Mine at Hartford, Ark. The territory starts just east of Heavener and stretches to Bates, Ark.