The Blacksville examination

THREE weeks after discovering a fire in a section of the mine, Consol Energy has sent a team underground to investigate part of the Blacksville operation in northern Appalachia.
The Blacksville examination The Blacksville examination The Blacksville examination The Blacksville examination The Blacksville examination


Donna Schmidt

Consol Energy spokeswoman Lynn Seay told ILN late Wednesday that an advance team completed the installation of permanent stoppings at the operation’s Kuhntown and Ornduff seal sites Tuesday afternoon and that all sampling lines required for the seals had been installed.

Nitrogen injections were continuing Wednesday, with the third borehole scheduled for injection at about 4pm local time.

Following US Mine Safety and Health Administration, state and union approval of its examination strategy Wednesday morning, crews were put into place almost immediately.

“The teams began implementing [the] plan at 11.15am as West Virginia certified mine examiners entered the mine,” Seay said.

“These sections of the coal mine have been normally ventilated since the event took place on March 12.”

Seay said Consol officials remained onsite and the company had no timeline for the restart of operations.

The producer initially evacuated its 121-day crew miners on March 12 at about 2pm, immediately after witnessing smoke coming from the shaft of the mine in Wayne, near the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border.

Consol has not made any comment on the impact of the now three-week-old stoppage on its tonnage goals, nor has it mentioned damage to any equipment or underground resources.

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