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US miner raises $105M to recycle waste coal into crypto

Stronghold Digital Mining, based in Pennsylvania, has announced the completion of two private equity securities raises totaling $105 million.

The Scrubgrass Generation Plant in Venango County, according to an announcement shared with Cointelegraph, converts waste coal into energy on a scale equivalent to “a large-scale hydropower plant,” which is then used to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Stronghold recycled waste coal from coal mining operations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Stronghold’s power generation processes enable it to rehabilitate vast areas of land that have been devastated by waste coal acid drainage (AMD).

AMD refers to the process by which rain or snow combines with the sulphur in coal waste, allowing it to enter water systems and endanger aquatic life. Stronghold intends to donate the restored land to local communities after removing the waste coal.

According to the company, for every Bitcoin mined, 200 tonnes of waste coal are destroyed.

“Coal waste fires have wreaked havoc in my home state of Pennsylvania for the last hundred years,” said Bill Spence, co-chairman of Stronghold.

“We use 21st-century crypto mining techniques to mitigate the effects of 19th and 20th-century coal mining in some of the United States’ most environmentally neglected regions.”

Stronghold has already reclaimed 1,000 acres of “once-unusable” Pennsylvania land in collaboration with local environmental authorities. In addition to removing more than 98 percent of mercury, NOx, and SO2 emissions, the company’s manufacturing process generates fly ash, which can be used as fertiliser.

Stronghold hopes to have more than 28,000 cryptocurrency miners operational by 2022, and is in talks to acquire facilities with a combined capacity of more than 200 megawatts.

The increase comes as the Bitcoin community becomes more environmentally conscious, with Tesla CEO Elon Musk famously reversing the electric vehicle manufacturer’s decision to accept Bitcoin payments, citing the environmental toll of coal-powered mining.

Earlier this month, Musk stated that Tesla would consider resuming support for BTC if the mining industry transitioned to using at least 50% clean energy.

The debate over Bitcoin’s ecological footprint has contributed to a heavy bear trend for publicly traded North American mining stocks in recent months, which have experienced drawdowns of between 50 and 60 percent since reaching all-time highs.

Despite the fact that the broader crypto bearish trend shows no signs of abating, Compass Point, an independent investment bank, has given Riot Blockchain (RIOT) and Marathon Digital (MARA) buy ratings, noting that the firms are generating BTC at discounts of 62 percent and 70 percent, respectively, compared to spot prices.

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