Phoenix thaws out, resumes work

ILLINOIS Basin producer Phoenix Coal has recommenced production at its Kentucky operations following a severe ice storm that caused a temporary shutdown.

Donna Schmidt

About 75% of the state’s counties have been under a state emergency for nearly a week, suffering power outages and damaged infrastructure as a result of the storm.

Phoenix’s mines were not able to produce with officials estimating losses of about 85,000 tons.

“The company's mobile equipment sustained no damage and is fully operational,” the company noted, but added that its preparation facility at Briar Hill, which received minor damage, would require repair and would be offline until February 15.

While the mines are back to work under a reduced schedule, the company expects its normal capacity will be reached by February 7.

“We are pleased with our progress toward resuming production at our minesites and are extremely fortunate that our facilities sustained only minor damage relative to the hardships felt by our employees and their families, most of whom are still without heat, power and water," said president David Wiley.

Phoenix produces about 2.5 million tons of coal each year from the Illinois Basin.

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