The quick three week turnaround at the room and pillar coal mine, located near Providence, Kentucky, has minimized the impact on the mine’s bottom line. Information obtained during examinations indicated minimal impact to the Dotiki mine outside of the now permanently sealed fire area.
Production operations at Dotiki resumed on March 8, with all six mining units now performing at full capacity. On March 3, 2004, Webster County Coal employees and mine rescue teams completed the construction of the third and final set of permanent seals at the mine. With the installation of these seals and injection of inert gases completed, the Dotiki mine fire was effectively extinguished and the affected area of the mine totally isolated behind a series of permanent seals.
“We permanently isolated the Dotiki mine fire area in a period of only 21 days. In just three weeks, we completed a task that would have lasted many months had we relied on conventional methods,” said Senior Vice President of Operations Charlie Wesley.
Following the fire incident at Dotiki, Webster County Coal transferred a majority of its employees to assist in the implementation of expanded production schedules with affiliate operations at the Pattiki mine and Warrior mine.
With the Dotiki mine recovery and rehabilitation efforts completed, White County Coal and Warrior Coal resumed normal production schedules and the affected workers have been transferred back to Webster County Coal.
The Dotiki mine is an underground mining complex that employs approximately 360 workers. The mine produces low moisture, high sulfur coal from the Kentucky No. 9 coal seam utilizing continuous mining units and room-and-pillar techniques. Production from the mine during 2003 averaged approximately 407,000 tons per month.