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Signal Peak allowed limited mining

THE US Mine Safety and Health Administration confirmed that Signal Peak’s Bull Mountain operation in Montana has been permitted to mine on a limited basis following a series of falls that recently forced the mine to close.

Donna Schmidt
Signal Peak allowed limited mining

MSHA spokesperson Amy Louviere told ILN that the only section where mining had recommenced was Bull Mountain’s longwall.

“The closure order has not been removed yet but there are no restrictions on longwall mining since they have installed all the specified supplemental support in the headgate and maintain it outby as the longwall retreats,” she said late Thursday.

“The re-support plan for the fall out in the mains has not been approved yet. Once it is approved they will re-support that area.”

The latest roof fall, which occurred on Friday, was in an abandoned area of the mine. No one was injured and methane levels are being monitored in the section.

Signal Peak spokesperson Mike Dawson told the Associated Press that mining was restricted to 13 hours daily instead of the typical 20.

The mine had resumed operations August 9 for the first time since being ordered closed by MSHA July 25. No one was injured in three roof falls the week prior to the closure but a miner had been injured in a collapse July 18 while doing roof support work.

MSHA had previously approved the mine’s revised plan for roof support work, and Signal Peak had been doing supplemental support work in advance of the longwall miner.

The 200-worker underground Bull Mountain No.1 operation near Roundup, owned by FirstEnergy and Boich Group of Ohio, operates a longwall and one continuous mining machine development section in the Mammoth seam.

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