Shoemaker Mine history
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Shoemaker Mine history



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Shoemaker Mine history Shoemaker Mine history Presentation Transcript

  • Shoemaker Mine
  • The Shoemaker Mine was Named in Honor of G.A. “Al” Shoemaker, Retired President of Consolidation Coal Company
    Mr. Shoemaker was born in Parkesburg, Pennsylvania
    He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1923
    Following graduation he pursued an engineering career
    In 1945 he was elected vice president of one of Consol’s predecessor companies
    The following year he was elected vice president of the Pittsburgh Coal Company division of Consol, and later became president of that division.
  • Mr. Shoemaker was Elected Executive Vice President of Consol in 1952 and Became a Director in 1956.
    He was elected executive vice president of Consol in 1952 and became a director in 1956
    He was very active in the Western Pennsylvania Coal Operator’s Association
    He has served as trustee of Pennsylvania State University
    Coal Operator’s Association and has served as trustee of Pennsylvania State University. He was also active in the American Mining and Metallurgical Engineers; the Pittsburgh Coal Mining Institute; and the Engineer’s Society of Western Pennsylvania.
  • Additional Information
    Mr. Shoemaker served as a Township Commissioner in his home community of Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania and was active in local civic, educational and business matters.
  • The Shoemaker Mine began Production on September 2, 1966
    The first longwall was installed and began full production on April 21, 1975
    Shoemaker was the first mine in the United States to use shield supports for longwall mining
    Shoemaker mine is located in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle just south of Wheeling, West Virginia
    The preparation plant, supply yard, warehouse and shop are located next to the Ohio River at Benwood
    The mine portal is located in rural Marshall County, approximately 7.5 miles from Elm Grove on Big Wheeling Creek.
  • The Early Years
    At this time the mine employed 404 people and produced 2.3 million tons of steam coal per year from the Pittsburgh No. 8 coal seam
    At start of production the seam was 65 inches thick, and with the draw slate removed during mining, entry height was just over 6 feet
    . The coal contained 12,4000 BTU’s per pound
    Most of the coal was and still is barged 200 miles down the Ohio River to an electric power generating plant
  • Coal Preparation Then and Now
    All of the coal produced is washed at the preparation plant
    Heavy media vessels accomplish this
    The coal is produced from longwall and continuous miner sections
    When Shoemaker mine began production the coal was transported on 42” and 48” belts
    Currently, the coal is transported on 54” and 60” belts from the face of the 54 mother belts
    The mother belts dumped the coal into mine cars, and these were hauled in 42 car trips approximately seven miles to the rotary dump at the preparation plant
    The mine had over nine miles of beltline and over 22 miles of track
    There is now over 11 miles of beltline.
  • Ventilation
    Six main fans, five exhausting, accomplished ventilation
    Over 1.2 million cubic feet of air was passed through the mine each minute
    The mine had eight shafts, one drift opening, and one slope
    In order to keep the mine from flooding, over 260,000 gallons of water per day were discharged and treated so that it was clean and safe to put into the streams
    That amounted to a little over 180 gallons per minute on a 24 - hour basis
  • Rail Cars - Beltline
    Shoemaker’s Main entrance, referred to as a pitmouth is a tunnel six-and-one-half foot high and twenty-two foot wide
    It goes under Route 2 and through Boggs Run Hill, sloping gradually upward before reaching the coal seam
    Loaded and empty coal cars used to travel through the tunnel on their way to and from the preparation plant
    Shoemaker Mine was the last coal mine in the United States to use this rail haulage system
    The dangerous rail cars have now been replaced with a $204 million belt project that is now in full production
  • Cost Comparison
    The cost of opening Shoemaker mine back in 1966 was quoted at ten million dollars
    At this time this was considered and extremely costly project
    The new belt project alone was twenty times more expensive even with factoring in inflation
  • Layout of the Mine
    Shoemaker currently consists of three main portals.
    The first and original portal is known as the river portal
    This is also known as the pitmouth, and this is where equipment is brought in and out of the mine
    The River portal is located in Benwood along the Ohio River
    Shoemaker Mine ships all of their coal by way of barge
  • The River Portal Consists of Two Major Entries, the Main Line Track, and a Refuse Belt
    The main line track must constantly be maintained, due to the fact this is where the seals are checked from, and most of the firebossing is done
    The refuse belt is a belt used to transport the rock and unwanted product extracted from the preparation plant to the refuse dump
    The coal we mine today, can be cut from the face, hauled out of the coal mine into the prep plant and loaded onto a barge all in one motion
  • Whittaker Portal
    The next portal going into the mine is Whittaker portal
    This portal was the main concern during our major belt project
    This is the location we rehabbed to connect the belts underground to prepare them to haul the coal from the sections and the longwall, up the new slope to the preparation plant and eventually onto a barge
  • Major Belt Project is Completed
    Now that the major belt project is completed, the majority of employees report to Golden Ridge Portal located in Dallas Pike, West Virginia
    This is currently where all the action is, right in the middle of our 8 North sections
    We are currently cutting 3b and 4b sections, in preparation for our next longwall move
  • Future Reserve
    Our longwall is approximately one hundred breaks fro the Golden Ridge portal
    The newest section Shoemaker mine is developing is the 8 south section
    This is located right on the bottom of Golden Ridge and is the future reserve of Shoemaker mine.
  • Seal Locations of the Mine
    There are many seals at Shoemaker mine; ten of these seal locations are considered a major problem
    Starting in from the pitmouth 1 North and 1 South were the first seals installed at our mine
    These are currently checked and monitored from the surface, by borehole
  • The 2 North Seal
    The next seal installed was the 2 North seal and it is walked and monitored from underground
    The 2 North seal, for the most part is always in compliance with gas levels
  • The 3 North Seal is One of the Major Problems of Shoemaker Mine
    It is monitored underground and is not an easy location to check
    When the barometer levels drop, this seal can have some dangerous gases behind it
    This particular seal was the first location we plan to pump nitrogen
    We plan on pumping nitrogen through a four inch wide plastic pipe dropped down fro a borehole
    The nitrogen can keep the levels in compliance more effectively when we start using it
  • Use of Nitrogen
    The next seal we plan to pump nitrogen to is the 4 North seal
    3 South and 5 North are the next seals going into the mine
    We plan to pump nitrogen into these seals, but just as a precautionary measure
    These are monitored underground and are almost always at perfect levels for a seal
  • The 4 South Seal has Been a Major Problem at ShoemakerMine
    We have had to evacuate the mine three separate occasions in 2009 alone
    The 4 South seal is our main concern when we begin our nitrogen pumping process
    We plan to pump nitrogen directly into this seal by way of an existing borehole
    We believe this can cut the dangerous levels down drastically
  • The 4 South Seal was the Main Reason we are Considering Pumping the Nitrogen
    Even by cutting the evacuation number in half can save millions of dollars by avoiding these costly evacuations, and most importantly, keeping these levels safe for our mine
    The Federal Inspectors want to see action taken when dangerous levels occur, and this is a good precautionary measure to take
  • Our Final two Seal Locations are 6 North and 6 North Bleeder Seals
    In the history of our mine these two seals have not given us a problem
    We do not plan on pumping in to these locations, but we are prepared to if necessary
  • History of Issues With Seals
    Shoemaker mine has had an issue with seals, and evacuations. In the year 2009 we had a total of six mine evacuations
    These costly mine evacuations totaled sixty hours of total down time
    This is a very serious subject that must be addressed as soon as possible
    These deadly gases that accumulate in the seals are a miner’s worst nightmare
  • Not Only is it Unsafe it is One of the Most Mostly Situations that Can Occur
    Every evacuation that occurred at our mine was due to seals being out of compliance with gases
    We plan to cut back on these evacuations with the use of a nitrogen pumping system
    Each sampling pipe and approved sampling location shall be sampled at least every twenty-four hours
    Atmospheres with seals less than 120 psi constructed before October 20, 2008 shall be monitored for methane and oxygen concentrations and maintained inert
  • Seal Monitoring
    The mine operator may request for an approval for different sampling locations and frequencies in the ventilation plan, provided at least one sample is taken at each set of seals at least every seven days
    Mines with an approved ventilation plan addressing spontaneous combustion pursuant to part 75.334 (f), must sample the sealed atmosphere in accordance with the ventilation plan
  • Spontaneous Combustion is the Biggest Safety Hazard in Dealing with Dangerous Gases
    This is our number one concern in keeping these gases in range
    We strongly believe pumping nitrogen can reduce the risk of spontaneous combustion and other dangerous hazards
    Properly monitoring these seals is the most important thing, when installing these pumps
    Checks must be done thoroughly and correctly
  • There are mines that have abused monitoring their seals
    Federal Number 2 mine is temporarily shut down after state investigators discovered explosive materials in the mine
    The state has also launched an investigation into falsified documents at the mine
  • Safety Levels of Gases
    The District Manager of MSHA may approve in the ventilation plan the use of a continuous monitoring system in lieu of monitoring provisions in this section
    Except as provided in section 75.336 (d), the atmosphere in the sealed area is considered inert when the oxygen concentration is less than ten percent or the methane concentration is less than three percent, or greater than twenty percent
    When the gases are checked, and are out of this range all miners must evacuate immediately
  • Precautionary Measures
    At this time the only people that are allowed back in the mine are those responsible for correcting the problem
    There must also be a statement sent to MSHA, of the action taken to correct this problem
    When the problem has been corrected, and the gases are back in compliance, once again the entire mine must then be examined
  • Precautionary Measures cont.
    In a sealed area with a demonstrated history of carbon dioxide or sealed areas where inert gases have been injected, the mine foreman may request that the district manager approve in the ventilation plan an alternative method to determine if the sealed atmosphere is inert and when the miners have to be withdrawn
    The mine operator must also address in the ventilation plan the specific levels of methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen; the sampling methods and equipment used; and the methods used to evaluate these concentrations underground at the seal
  • Record keeping is another action that must be done
    The certified person shall promptly record each sampling result including the location of the sampling points, whether in gassing or out gassing, and oxygen and methane concentrations
    The results of oxygen and methane samples must be recorded as the percentage of oxygen and methane measured by the certified person, and any hazardous condition found in accordance with part 75.363
    The mine must retain these sampling records for at least one year from the date of the sampling
  • False Records
    The state Office of Miner’s Health Safety and Training is investigating reports of falsified safety records after the incident, said Jama Jarrett the communications officer for OMHST
    Jarrett said her investigators found the methane buildup in the mine while investigating the records
    One mine foreman told investigators he entered a false mandatory safety check on January 24, 2010 despite not having performed the examination, Jarrett said
  • Investigation
    The Mine Safety and Health administration (MSHA) would not comment on the investigation
    The U.S. Attorney’s Office also refused to comment when calls where directed from MSHA
    United Mine Workers International Vice President and Delegate Mike Caputo, D-Marion, said he is aware of the investigation-
    “It will be investigated and if that happened then those individuals deserve to be punished. But that investigation is ongoing and we’ll just have to see what the outcome of that is. But I’m certainly not going to feel sorry for anyone who puts the lives of coal miners in jeopardy by falsifying a document,” said Caputo.
  • Patriot Coal made no comment on the investigation into falsified documents
    A statement was released however, on February 22, 2010 about the status of Federal No. 2 mine
    It stated the mine has temporarily suspended active mining operations at Federal No. 2 after discovering potentially adverse atmospheric conditions Thursday, February 18, 2010
    Patriot says it is currently conducting additional testing and is working with the US Department of Labor and MSHA to develop a plan to address the issue so that active mining operations can resume
    Patriot is unsure of when that will be
  • Costly Shut Down due to Danger
    Mine operators evacuated and shut down the Federal No. 2 Mine on February 12 and again on February 18, officials said
    On February 23rd the 400-500 miners who work at Federal No. 2 were still hearing a message from Patriot Coal telling them the mine is idle until further notice
    An explosive level of the mixture of methane and oxygen was found in at least one of the mine fills at Federal No.2, said officials at the Office of Miner’s Health, Safety and Training
  • Abused Monitoring
    There could be up to 90 fills in that mine, which are areas that have already been mined and are now sealed off and filled in as a safety precaution
    State regulations require those areas to be checked every 24 hours official stated
    Companies normally add nitrogen to eliminate the explosive mixture, but Patriot Coal officials have not said if that is what they will do in this situation, since they have already abused monitoring
  • Nitrogen can be Very Helpful to a Coal Mine
    But you must obey the monitoring laws
    Before workers are allowed back into the mine, operators must submit a re-entry plan to the Mine Safety and Health administration, officials said
    As of February 22, 2010, MSHA officials were meeting with the mine operator to discuss that plan
  • Sago Mine Disaster
    In regards to the Sago Mine, nothing has been confirmed as to what caused the explosion
    It is believed by experts in the field that combustible gasses were present the day of the disaster and have been present prior to this costly accident
    The proper use of nitrogen and more importantly accurate and precise monitoring could have saved many lives