The curing time for the permanent seals installed at Elk Creek Mine should be complete today, Wednesday, Feb. 6.
"The mine's inert.
We are waiting on the seals to age, just like concrete, for about five days. So they ought to be tested on Wednesday of this week. And if that's the case, we'll get a good deal of our people back here and start organizing the mine and start two continuous miner sections," Jim Cooper, president of Oxbow Mining, said in an interview on Monday, Feb. 4.
Elk Creek Mine has been closed due to the MSHA discovery of high carbon monoxide levels behind the longwall on Jan. 8.
Mike Ludlow, vice president of Oxbow Mining, confirmed on Feb. 5 that initial tests on the samples will be conducted on Wednesday. Mine officials will then know if the seals have reached their full design strength.
"At that point, once they've reached their design strength, we'll request permission to bring back all of our work force to start on continuous miner development and construction work," Ludlow said. Oxbow will need approval from MSHA.
Approximately 220 hourly employees have not been scheduled to work over the course of the closure. Some were brought back to work on sealing the mine. The miners who have not been on the work schedule will not be paid for the period the mine was closed.
According to Ludlow, Oxbow Mining has not received any MSHA citations and no penalties will be incurred.
"The longwall is sealed in the mine right now in the inert area. That is not accessible to us, and we won't have longwall production until about mid-year," Ludlow said.
Losses for the Elk Creek Mine closure have not been calculated, and will probably not be released to the public.blog comments powered by Disqus