Gibraltar Mine Coal Docks

Conveyors for the former Gibraltar Mine formerly loaded coal into awaiting barges along the Green River in western Kentucky.

The Gibraltar Mine was developed by the Gibraltar Coal Corp. (co-owned by Peabody Coal and Ayrshire Collieries) in 1956, 4 and in its first year of operation, extracted 1.8 million tons of high-sulfur coal. 1 The development of the mine included two 2,750-foot long by 220-foot wide canals along the Green River 4 which contained conveyors that allowed a barge to be filled with coal in approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. 2

Because of lagging demand for its higher polluting coal, the mine suspended operations briefly in April 1978. 3 In 1979, Peabody Coal gained full control of the mine after acquiring the interest of Amax Coal, Ayrshire Collieries’s successor. 5 Flagging demand led to a suspension of operations again in January 1989 when 190 miners were laid off. 2 5 Eighteen employees were retained to handle reclamation efforts.

Fourteen workers were recalled in September to operate the mine’s coal tipple and barge loader over the river 2 and full operations were resumed to meet a temporary rise in demand. 5 Gibraltar Mine permanently closed on August 31, 1990.



  1. Mine Report – 04251.” Kentucky Mine Mapping Information.
  2. Ross, Thomas T. “Miner has spent life working for coal, community.” Messenger-Inquirer [Owensboro], 26 Nov. 1989, p. 10A.
  3. Powell, Bill. “Mine’s deatah a bad omen for coal in W. Kentucky.” Courier-Journal [Louisville], 19 Apr. 1978, p. 1A-6A.
  4. Rogers, Emmett. “Shovel Takes Room-Size Bites From Muhlenberg County Hills.” Messenger-Inquirer [Owensboro], 8 Jun. 1956, p. 22.
  5. Ross, Thomas T. “Muhlenberg mine closings to lay off 100.” Messenger-Inquirer [Owensboro], 10 Jul. 1990, p. 1C.

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