Rhino Resource Partners LP said March 25 that Elam Derk Jones, an employee of Castle Valley Mining LLC in Emery County, Utah, was fatally injured in a roof fall at Mine #4 on March 22.
Jones was operating a continuous miner when the accident occurred. Another miner was injured in the incident and was taken to the hospital, where he was treated and released, the company noted.
Castle Valley is working and cooperating with both the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration and the state of Utah to determine the cause and circumstances surrounding the incident. Castle Valley’s Mine #4 has been temporarily idled while the investigation takes place.
Rhino bought the Castle Valley property, which was out of production in 2010, in a bankruptcy sale. After a restart in 2011, MSHA data shows that the #4 deep mine (the latest of several on the property) produced 571,956 tons in 2011 and 997,288 tons in 2012.
MSHA data shows this as the eighth fatality in 2013 in the U.S. coal industry, against only six fatalities at this same point last year. The final 2012 fatality total for coal was 19.
Rhino produces metallurgical and steam coal in a variety of basins throughout the United States, it leases coal through its Elk Horn Coal subsidiary in eastern Kentucky, and it owns oil and gas acreage in the Utica and Cana Woodford plays.