MARKETS

West Virginia closes two mines in inspection blitz

AN inspection blitz by state mining authorities last month resulted in more than 100 citations to mines across West Virginia as well as the closure of two operations.

Donna Schmidt
West Virginia closes two mines in inspection blitz

State Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training spokesperson Leslie Fitzwater told ILN this week that all underground mines in West Virginia were inspected on April 14-28 by state inspectors. Of those reviewed, 51 were targeted for initial inspection by the mines’ inspectors-at-large for their respective region.

“Mines that liberate high amounts of methane within a 24-hour period and mines considered to be problematic in the past were the first to be inspected,” she said.

While fine assessments are not yet complete, state officials issued 128 violations. Two facilities, which the agency did not identify, received orders to idle until issues could be rectified.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the WVOMHST confirmed to ILN that both were back online.

"We focused on ignition sources, combustibles, combustion standards and electrical standards. I can't say that we were disappointed," agency director Ron Wooten told various local media outlets.

"I would rather we had not found any violations but we did."

Fitzwater added that the enforcement spotlight would not be removed from the state’s mines anytime soon.

“No additional statewide targeted enforcement is planned; however, enhanced enforcement will occur on a site-specific basis as determined by our inspectors-at-large,” she said.

The inspection blitz was ordered by state Governor Joe Manchin after April’s explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County.

A similar nationwide blitz completed by the US Mine Safety and Health Administration on April 19-23 resulted in more than1300 citations.

There are approximately 200 underground coal mines in West Virginia.

TOPICS:

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining Monthly Intelligence team.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining Monthly Intelligence team.

editions

Mining Magazine Intelligence Exploration Report 2024 (feat. Opaxe data)

A comprehensive review of exploration trends and technologies, highlighting the best intercepts and discoveries and the latest initial resource estimates.

editions

Mining Magazine Intelligence Future Fleets Report 2024

The report paints a picture of the equipment landscape and includes detailed profiles of mines that are employing these fleets

editions

Mining Magazine Intelligence Digitalisation Report 2023

An in-depth review of operations that use digitalisation technology to drive improvements across all areas of mining production

editions

Mining Magazine Intelligence Automation Report 2023

An in-depth review of operations using autonomous solutions in every region and sector, including analysis of the factors driving investment decisions