ANCHORAGE — An access permit has been extended for the proposed Usibelli coal mine in the Mat-Su valley.
Healy-based Usibelli Coal Mine Inc. is hoping to develop a new mine at Wishbone Hill, just outside of Palmer.
Dozens of Mat-Su residents gathered to protest against the mine Tuesday afternoon in downtown Palmer before the Mat-Su Borough Assembly voted 6-1 Tuesday night to extend the permit.
The permit will expire in five years, so Usibelli requested an extension for another 25 years to ensure access well into the future.
Frank Gerard of Wasilla told KTUU-TV that residents are worried about the impact on their community. Company officials say it will boost the economy and they will minimize any impact.