Buchanan restart delayed

REPAIRS being made to the skip hoist at Consol Energy's Buchanan Mine in Virginia will take a month longer than previously thought, the Appalachian producer said yesterday.

Staff Reporter

The mine’s hoist was damaged in an accident in September, forcing the mine to suspend coal production. From top to bottom, the entire skip hoist structure is approximately 1,780 feet high - the equivalent of a 148-story building.

Recent inspection of the lower level of the shaft revealed more extensive damage than anticipated, which meant the lower level of the shaft and skip hoisting structure needed to be replaced rather than repaired.

The existing parts of the hoist structure have been demolished and removed which has taken longer than projected. Replacement structure will now be installed and all materials are on site.

Buchanan produces about 400,000 tons per month of metallurgical-grade coal.

Consol has invoked the force majeure provision in its sales contracts while the mine is idle.

Despite the delay Consol said it was still on target to produce 17-18 million tons for the December quarter.