In a filing made late last week with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the producer said the order was given to its Cumberland Coal Resources subsidiary by the US Mine Safety and Health Administration on February 27.
While it did not indicate the specific readings, officials said the order required miners be withdrawn from the operation near Waynesburg, except those needed to conduct required examinations and maintain water pumps.
The order was modified the following day to release all areas from the caution except for the longwall section. It was terminated after methane levels were reduced, though officials did not specify when the termination was processed.
No injuries occurred as a result of the condition. The company has not made any further comment on the event.
Alpha had received a previous imminent danger order from federal inspectors for a condition observed at its Brooks Run Cucumber operation in the southern West Virginia town of War on February 23.
“[It alleges] that a miner … was observed operating a mechanized scoop by walking along side of it and activating the controls by reaching into the operator’s compartment,” officials said in the documentation.
“Brooks Run has a safety policy which prohibits the cited behavior. [It] has retrained all miners working at the mine regarding its safety policy, and the order has been terminated.”
And on February 2, Alpha’s Marfork Coal Slip Ridge Cedar Grove mine in Whitesville received an imminent danger order when an unnamed miner was observed entering an area with an unsupported roof.
“Marfork has a safety policy which prohibits entry into areas of unsupported roof.Ã‚Â Mine personnel have reviewed that policy with the mine’s workforce, and the order has been terminated.”
No injuries were reported in either of the earlier events.
Imminent danger orders are issued by MSHA under section 107(a) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act, also known as the Mine Act.
Section 1503 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street and Consumer Protection Act, amended last July, now requires disclosure of all imminent danger incidents as part of new reporting requirements for mine safety.
Alpha, since its acquisition of Massey Energy last June, now controls about five billion tons of reserves in central and northern Appalachia, the Illinois Basin and the Powder River Basin and is the second largest reserve holder in the nation.
The company’s met coal reserve base is now among the world’s largest and highest quality, with assets including about 150 coal mines and 40 preparation facilities.