The Spruce mine was exempted from a new federal government policy that would require extensive environmental studies before mountaintop removal mines are permitted.
Environmentalists are expected to challenge that decision in court.
They also have 30 days to appeal the mining permit changes to the state Surface Mine Board.
The Spruce mine would be located near Blair in Logan County.
The mine must still receive approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before mining can begin.