Mine 84 to close its doors

REPORTS have emerged that Consol Energy plans to close its Mine 84 operation in Pennsylvania.
Mine 84 to close its doors Mine 84 to close its doors Mine 84 to close its doors Mine 84 to close its doors Mine 84 to close its doors

Courtesy Consol Energy.

Donna Schmidt

While company officials did not respond to an ILN request for more details on the closure over the weekend, United Mine Workers Local 1197 president Mark Segedi told local newspaper The Observer-Reporter that the operation will permanently close in December.

The remaining 40 staff members will be offered positions at other Consol mines.

"There will be no one there for the holiday," Segedi told the paper late last week.

"By Christmas, it'll be the end of it."

Segedi said the union was notified of the company’s decision during a meeting last Thursday, with Consol citing China’s weakened demand for high-quality coal.

The Pennsylvania producer initially announced it would close Mine 84 in 2007, and laid off about 500 workers in 2008.

Segedi noted that the remaining workers had been informed six months ago that the mine would remain open for years, as it was close to securing a buyer for the output.

He said Mine 84 will quickly flood once its pumps are powered off, and once flooded it would cost millions of dollars to reopen it.

“I don’t think it’ll ever open back up once they seal it off,” he told the paper.

Consol Energy told local media late last week that it will release details on its plans for Mine 84 once it makes those decisions.

According to company data, Mine 84 – which produces from the prolific Pittsburgh 8 seam in southwestern Pennsylvania – had 3.6 million tons of output in 2007.

Federal data reflects it as a nonproducing operation, with no output in 2010, just over 514,000t in 2009 and 1.83Mt in 2008.