Mine 84 near Washington, US, has stopped longwall mining. Consol said the mining equipment may not be able to operate in areas developed for future mining without compromising the safety of the work area. The mine encountered unexpected, adverse geologic conditions about 12 months ago that have reduced coal output and resulted in increased equipment repair and maintenance.
Based on the geologic conditions expected to be encountered over the next several quarters, the company believes that a different equipment design would be needed to operate safely. The existing equipment is being removed from the mine over the next three to four weeks. Consol will decide whether to modify the existing equipment or to replace it with a system better suited to the geologic conditions expected to be encountered at Mine 84.
Longwall development will continue and will be the only source of coal for the next few months. It is not expected that Mine 84 will be able to reinstall a longwall system before January next year. Coal production at Mine 84 is expected to be reduced during the second half of calendar year 2001 by approximately 1.5 million tons.