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News Release: [04/21/2010]
Contact:   Amy Louviere
Phone:    202-693-9423
Release Number 10-520-NAT (231)


MSHA launches inspection blitz in nation's coalfields
Federal inspectors focus on mines with history of ventilation, methane violations


ARLINGTON, Va. — The Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced that the agency launched an inspection blitz over the past weekend at 57 coal mines whose history of underground conditions indicated a significant number of violations and/or conditions that may include problems relating to methane accumulations, ventilation practices, rock dust applications and inadequate mine examinations.

These impact inspections came on the heels of a directive issued by Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joseph A. Main immediately following the April 5 explosion at Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal, W.Va. Under that directive, Main instructed all district managers overseeing the nation's coal mines to focus increased attention on mine ventilation, rock dusting, methane monitoring and mine examinations during all ongoing regular inspections.

"The purpose of these inspections is to provide assurance that no imminent dangers, explosions, hazards or other serious health or safety conditions and practices are present at these mines," said Main. "Just last week, we pledged to the president that we will do whatever it takes to make sure another tragedy like the one that claimed 29 miners' lives at Upper Big Branch never happens again."

Depending upon mine size, as many as 10 inspectors were sent to each mine operation. They examined mechanized mining units at the selected mines, as well as the mines' bleeder systems, belt entries and seals.

The 57 mines were selected based on their history of significant and/or repeat violations and focused on safety standards concerning methane, mine ventilation and rock dusting " the types of violations that can lead to mine accidents.

Mines in 10 states were the target of the inspection blitz: West Virginia (23 mines), Kentucky (14), Alabama (4), Illinois (3), Utah (3), Indiana (3), Pennsylvania (2), Virginia (2), Tennessee (2) and Colorado (1). More than 275 coal mine enforcement personnel participated in the blitz.

A list of the 57 mines follows this news release. The results of these inspections will be made public as they become available.

Coal Mines Being Inspected
District ID Mine Name Operator Name Controller Name
DISTRICT 07 1509636 #77 Blue Diamond Coal Co. James River Coal Co.
DISTRICT 08 1202010 Air Quality #1 Mine Peabody Midwest Mining LLC Peabody Energy
DISTRICT 04 4605437 American Eagle Mine Speed Mining LLC Patriot Coal Corp.
DISTRICT 04 4609180 Apache Mine The New West Virginia Mining Co. Inc. Brandy M Horvath
DISTRICT 04 4608801 Aracoma Alma Mine #1 Aracoma Coal Co. Inc. Massey Energy Co.
DISTRICT 09 4202335 Bear Canyon #4 C W Mining Co. Kenneth A Rushton
DISTRICT 04 4607908 Big Mountain No 16 Pine Ridge Coal Co. LLC Patriot Coal Corp.
DISTRICT 03 4601968 Blacksville No 2 Consolidation Coal Co. CONSOL Energy Inc
DISTRICT 03 4609136 Broad Run Mine Big River Mining LLC Coalfield Transport Inc
DISTRICT 04 4609086 Brody Mine No 1 Brody Mining LLC Brody Trust
DISTRICT 05 4404856 Buchanan Mine #1 Consolidation Coal Co. CONSOL Energy Inc
DISTRICT 07 1518924 Butcher Branch Red Bird Coal Co. Donnie Wagers; Onzie Sizemore
DISTRICT 04 4607009 Castle Mine Elk Run Coal Co. Inc. Massey Energy Co.
DISTRICT 04 4608570 Coalburg No 2 Mine Rio Group Inc. Richard H Abraham
DISTRICT 08 1102632 Crown III Mine Tri County Coal LLC Gary J Ronald; Archibald C Parker
DISTRICT 02 3605018 Cumberland Mine Cumberland Coal Resources LP Alpha Natural Resources LLC
DISTRICT 07 1518182 D & C Mining Corp, D & C Mining Corp. Horace Garrison Hill
DISTRICT 04 4608759 Eagle Mine Newtown Energy Inc. Robert E Ellis
DISTRICT 02 3605466 Emerald Mine No 1 Emerald Coal Resources LP Alpha Natural Resources LLC
DISTRICT 03 4601456 Federal No 2 Eastern Associated Coal LLC Patriot Coal Corp.
DISTRICT 07 1518991 Flint Ridge Mine #2 ICG Hazard,LLC International Coal Group Inc (ICG)
DISTRICT 09 503836 Foidel Creek Mine Twentymile Coal Co. Peabody Energy
DISTRICT 08 1102752 Galatia Mine American Coal Co. Robert E Murray
DISTRICT 08 1202215 Gibson Mine Gibson County Coal LLC Alliance Resource Partners LP
DISTRICT 04 4601271 Harris No 1 Eastern Associated Coal LLC Patriot Coal Corp.
DISTRICT 10 1502709 Highland 9 Mine Highland Mining Co. LLC Patriot Coal Corp.
DISTRICT 09 4202074 Horizon Mine Hidden Splendor Resources Inc. Alexander H Walker III
DISTRICT 04 4607273 Justice #1 Independence Coal Co. Inc. Massey Energy Co.
DISTRICT 07 1519080 Liggett #5 Liggett Mining LLC James C Justice II
DISTRICT 03 4601433 Loveridge No 22 Consolidation Coal Co. CONSOL Energy Inc.
DISTRICT 03 4601437 McElroy Mine McElroy Coal Co. CONSOL Energy Inc.
DISTRICT 07 1518264 Mine #1 Cawood Enterprises LLC Jimmy D Robbins
DISTRICT 06 1507082 Mine #1 Freedom Energy Mining Co. Massey Energy Co.
DISTRICT 06 1517651 Mine #1 Rockhouse Energy Mining Co. Massey Energy Co.
DISTRICT 06 1518911 Mine #28 CAM Mining LLC Wexford Capital LLC
DISTRICT 07 1518861 Mine No 1 Conshor Mining LLC James H Hurley
DISTRICT 06 1508079 Mine No 3 Excel Mining LLC Alliance Resource Partners LP
DISTRICT 07 4003272 Mine No. 14 National Coal Corp. National Coal Corp.
DISTRICT 04 4608812 No 21 Marshall Mining Inc. Carl Kirk
DISTRICT 04 4609020 No 65 Double Bonus Coal Co. Mechel Oao
DISTRICT 11 101401 No 7 Mine Jim Walter Resources Inc. Walter Energy Inc.
DISTRICT 11 100759 North River #1 Underground Mine Chevron Mining Inc. Chevron Corp.
DISTRICT 11 100851 Oak Grove Mine Oak Grove Resources LLC Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.
DISTRICT 04 4601816 Pinnacle Mine Pinnacle Mining Co. LLC Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.
DISTRICT 04 4609217 Powellton #1 Mine INR-WV Operating LLC INR-I Holdings LLC
DISTRICT 08 1202249 Prosperity Mine Five Star Mining Inc. Donald Blankenberger
DISTRICT 07 1518771 RB #12 Manalapan Mining Co. Inc. Ben Bennett
DISTRICT 04 4601544 Road Fork #51 Mine Spartan Mining Co. Inc. Massey Energy Co.
DISTRICT 03 4601318 Robinson Run No 95 Consolidation Coal Co. CONSOL Energy Inc
DISTRICT 04 4608808 Ruby Energy Spartan Mining Co. Inc. Massey Energy Co.
DISTRICT 11 102901 Shoal Creek Mine Drummond Company Inc. Drummond Co. Inc
DISTRICT 07 1512564 Straight Creek #1 Mine Left Fork Mining Co. Inc. Ben Bennett
DISTRICT 05 4406804 Tiller No 1 Knox Creek Coal Corp. Massey Energy Co.
DISTRICT 07 4003333 Tri-State One Wilcoal Mining, Inc. Wilma Wagner
DISTRICT 04 4608436 Upper Big Branch Mine-South ** Performance Coal Co. Massey Energy Co.
DISTRICT 09 4202233 West Ridge Mine West Ridge Resources Inc. Robert E Murray
DISTRICT 08 1103054 Willow Lake Portal Big Ridge Inc Peabody Energy
DISTRICT 04 4608949 Winifrede 12 Mine Laurel Coal Corp. Clarence R Peters; Richard N Nester
** UBB not inspected due to April 5, 2010, explosion
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