Quest back on track

THANKS to realising the best revenues since its May recommencement of operations, Kentucky producer Quest Mining and Minerals said Monday it expects to double its revenues from 2007 as part of an “optimistic” final quarter.
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Coal coming from belt head to storage pile.

Donna Schmidt

Officials for the company also said that in the first six weeks of the fourth quarter alone, it has matched the coal sales it marked in the entire first nine months of this year.

Quest’s contract miner, Whitestar, noted that the equipment repairs, regulatory issues and increased mining costs have all created their own challenges for the mines, but that those obstacles have been overcome.

“We are now on a seven-face cycle with two Joy continuous miners, two shuttle cars and two scoops, and a completely rehabilitated belt line,” said Whitestar president Everett Hampton.

“We should continue to see more positive results going forward."

Quest president Eugene Chiaramonte Jr said the company was happy to mark a “strong” finish in the last eight weeks of the year.

“Our coal sales are beginning to compound very rapidly,” he said.

“We have already doubled last year's revenues and hope to quadruple them by year-end. The future looks very good."

Quest said in September its Pond Creek mine was nearly ready for significant production after completing a major overhaul of its infrastructure and equipment.

Crews split the beltline for the addition of another head drive and replaced decade-old conveyor belt totalling about 1200ft. The mine’s belt feeder was extended by 4ft and had an independent motor installed with the aim of making the entire infrastructure run more efficiently.

“We focused on the machinery by installing new hydraulic jacks to the roof bolter and refurbishing the undercarriage on our Joy 14-10a miner to give it better output efficiency,” Hampton said at the time.

“Ultimately, we have taken every measure possible to ensure that we will not only produce high coal volume but to have this mine in the shape needed to sustain consistent production levels."

In August, the company reported that it had begun equipment transport for Cedar Grove’s production from the Lower Cedar Grove seam.

“Prior operations at this mine have established production levels of 2000 to 2500 raw tons per day. So we are eager to reach these target goals as well,” Hampton said.

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