Murray Energy

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This page was last updated on September 23, 2022.

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Robert Murray himself had his first experience in the Utah coal fields when he was vice president of North American Coal Co. when that company purchased the Castle Gate coal mines in 1967 from Independent Coal and Coke. North American Coal sold its interest in the Castle Gate mines in 1973 to Valley Camp Coal Co.

Murray Energy Corporation, with Robert Murray as its president, first came to Utah in 1998 with the purchase of the Kaiser South Lease, connected to the Kaiser North Lease in Horse Canyon.

In 1998 UtahAmerican Energy, Inc., a subsidiary of Murray Energy, subleased the former Geneva mine in Horse Canyon from the Intermountain Power Agency, which itself had purchased the mine from the bankrupt Kaiser Coal Company. The Horse Canyon mine had been inactive since 1984. To access the southern regions of the coal seams previously worked as part of the Geneva mine, Murray Energy organized UtahAmerican Energy, Inc. as a subsidiary, and in mid 1999 began the permitting process for developing the Lila Canyon coal mine in the Book Cliffs, south of the Geneva mine in Horse Canyon.

(Read more about the Lila Canyon mine)

(Read more about the Geneva mine in Horse Canyon)

Murray Energy gained additional resources in 2006, with the purchase of the coal mines of Andalex Resources.

(Read more about Andalex Resources)

Murray Energy holdings in Utah include the following:

ANDALEX Resources, Inc.
Mine: Wildcat Loadout
Permit No.: C/007/033

(Read more about the Wildcat Loadout)

ANDALEX Resources, Inc.
Mine: Centennial
Permit No.: C/007/019

(Read more about the Centennial Project; originally developed by Tower Resources)

GENWAL Resources, Inc.
Jointly owned with IPA
Mine: Crandall Canyon
Permit No.: C/015/032

(Read more about the Genwal mines in Crandall Canyon)

Lila Canyon
Permit No.: C/007/013

(Read more about the Lila Canyon mine)

WEST RIDGE Resources, Inc.
Jointly owned with IPA
Mine: West Ridge
Permit Application No.: C/007/041

(Read more about the West Ridge mine)


August 1998
UtahAmerican Energy Incorporated (UEI), a subsidiary of Murray Energy, subleased the 5,500 acres of the former Geneva coal mine in Horse Canyon from Intermountain Power Agency (IPA), which itself had purchased the mine from the bankrupt Kaiser Coal Company. At the same time, UtahAmerican Energy began the permitting process to allow development of the adjacent Lila Canyon Tract, located south of Horse Canyon, accessing the south portions of the same coal veins. The Lila Canyon permitting process became much more active in April 1999, and the formal Technical Analysis was completed in July 1999.

(Read more about the Geneva mine in Horse Canyon)

September 15, 1998
IPA and UtahAmerican Energy announced in a joint statement that the two companies would begin development of the Lila Canyon coal mine on 5,605 acres of coal leases. (Sun Advocate, September 15, 1998)

In the early stages of the permitting process, the Lila Canyon mine was known as the Lila Canyon Extension of the Horse Canyon mine. During the later years that the Geneva mine in Horse Canyon was in production, one of the three ventilation openings for the mine was in Lila Canyon. "The intake air enters the mine through the mine openings at the north and south portals in Horse Canyon and at the opening at Lila Canyon. Middle entries are used to circulate the fresh air and the outer entries are used as returns to the main entries and district entries." (Don Butler, February 1961)

Under UtahAmerican Energy ownership the permitting process continued with hopes to begin actual mine development during late 2007 or 2008. UEI stated that they plan on a daily capacity of 13,000 tons, delivering coal to a loadout facility served by a new spur to be built from Union Pacific's former D&RGW mainline, just three miles away.

Murray Energy Corporation purchased the Andalex Resources coal properties in Utah from Luscar, Ltd.

(Luscar, Ltd., remained in the coal business, and by April 2018, was Canada's largest coal producer with mines in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.)

August 9, 2006
Murray Energy Corporation "purchased all of the shares of the common stock of Andalex Resources, Inc and its subsidiaries, effective as of August 9, 2006. The Utah operations of Andalex including the Crandall Canyon Project, West Ridge Project, Tower Division and the Wildcat Loadout will be operated by UtahAmerican Energy, Inc, the Utah subsidiary of parent Murray Energy Corporation." (Murray Energy Corporation press release dated August 9, 2006)

(Read more about Andalex Resources)

In August 2007 six miners were trapped at the Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah, of which Murray Energy independent operating subsidiary UtahAmerican Energy had been a part-owner for 12 months.

(Read the Wikipedia article about the Crandall Canyon Disaster)

As of February 2018, Andalex Resources, Inc., was still active in Utah coal mining, along with other companies owned and controlled by Murray Energy, including UtahAmerican Energy, Inc., West Ridge Resources, Inc., and Genwal Resources, Inc.

Murray Energy declared bankruptcy in October 2019. The company was reorganized as American Consolidated Natural Resources in September 2020.

Robert E. Murray and Murray Energy

In early 1973, North American Coal Company turned away from its Utah mine and began to focus on its coal properties in Ohio and western North Dakota. In 1967 North American Coal had purchased the Castle Gate mines in Utah. By early 1973, Robert E. Murray was vice president of North American Coal.

(Read more about North American Coal Company, and its activity at Castle Gate in 1967 to 1973)

Robert Murray started his career as head of various coal mining companies as a special assistant to the president of North American Coal. In May 1969 he was named as vice president of operations, a position he held until December 1974 when he was named as president of North American Coal's Western Division, with his office in Bismarck, North Dakota. Murray remained in this position until about May 1988 when he became president and CEO. One of North American Coal's subsidiaries was Nacco, Inc., which was spun off and renamed as Ohio Valley Resources, Inc., with Murray as president and CEO of the new company as well. In 1988, Murray formed his current company, Murray Energy Corporation, and became active in the politics of promoting coal as a valuable national resource, and being very vocal about the dangers of the anti-coal political movement.

(Read the Wikipedia article about Robert E. Murray)

(Read the Wikipedia article about Murray Energy)

Robert Eugene Murray died on October 25, 2020, at 80 years of age. He had formally retired from Murray Energy on October 19th.