Foresight Energy LP (NYSE: FELP) announced on July 29 that on the prior day, July 28, a team of examiners and U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) authorities reentered the Deer Run longwall mine of its Hillsboro Energy LLC subsidiary and conducted an examination.
This examination came after carbon monoxide, an indicator of combustion, had shut the Illinois mine on July 15. The inspection included visual observations and air quality and quantity readings throughout the mine. Based on this exam, and the continued low carbon monoxide levels, it appears that the effort to contain and extinguish the fire has been successful, Foresight said.
In addition, during the examination process, a limited section of the headgate area of the longwall was observed. Based on this limited observation, it appears there was no damage to the longwall itself and related equipment.
The next step in the reentry process is to pump water from the mine, which commenced the night of July 28. After sufficient pumping, an observation period will begin. During the observation period, mine personnel will be working with MSHA on a plan for the workforce to reenter the mine.
The Deer Run mine produces approximately 500,000 clean tons per month under normal operations. The mine produces high-sulfur coal out of the Herrin No. 6 seam through contract miner Patton Mining LLC.
Foresight Energy, founded by coal operator Chris Cline, is a leading coal producer in the Illinois Basin region of the United States with over three billion tons of coal reserves currently supporting four mining complexes.