CALHOUN, Ky. (AP) — Construction is underway on a new underground coal mine in western Kentucky that would employ about 280 miners.

Paringa Resources says it is planning to begin mining coal at the McLean County site next year. The mine would sell coal that's used to generate electricity at power plants, a sector of coal that has been in steep decline in Kentucky and parts of Appalachia.

Paringa CEO Grant Quasha says the company has a contract with Kentucky's largest utility, LG&E, to sell about half the coal mined at the new Poplar Grove mine. The mine would produce about 2.8 million tons of coal a year.

Quasha says the there is a base of experienced workers in the area to draw from.