Coalcast Ep5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations" - June 4, 2009

Coalcast Ep5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations" - June 4, 2009

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue May 26, 2009 8:16 pm

Coalcast episode 5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations"
Date/Time: Thursday, June 4th at 7:00PM

The topic for our fifth live broadcast will be "Anthracite Mining Regulations". Air date will be Thursday, June 4th at 7:00PM.

Patrick and Paul will be discussing new regulations and other issues effecting the slowly disappearing underground mines in the area how they may effect you the anthracite consumer. I'm also pleased to announce we will have our first guest on the show and possibly others, our very own Mike who is member here will be on the show to share his insight. Mike works as an underground miner so he will have first hand knowledge.

Previous archived episodes and other information can be found in the Coalcast Forum.


Note that the air time has been changed from the first Tuesday of each month to the first Thursday of each month until further notice. We hope to add some more shows once the season starts up again.
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CoalCast_Episode_005_20090604.mp3
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[nepafile=13011]CoalCast_Episode_005_20090604.mp3[/nepafile]
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Coalcast Ep5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations" - June 4, 2009

PostBy: 009to090 On: Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:28 pm

Tim Holden...

http://www.holden.house.gov/
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice

Re: Coalcast Ep5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations" - June 4, 2009

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:32 pm

Good one! Thank you-s to Paul and especially Mike "A".
VigIIPeaBurner
 
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Re: Coalcast Ep5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations" - June 4, 2009

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:42 pm

I'll have to agree, that was most interesting. Mike did a great job but he cheated because he has practice with speaking publicly. As mentioned in the show not only does he work actively in mine he also active doing tours at the No. 9 mine in Lansford, PA. So head out and meet him in person.

As suggested if you want you can contact your representative and let them know you support the Underground Miners and let them know the special challenges they face with these regulations.

You may also contact Tim Holden the representative for the district these small underground mines exist in.

We'll be posting the audio shortly in this thread if you missed it. We'll be continuing this conversation with Mike and some other guests next month on June 2 with hopefully an update on today's topiuc but we'll focusing more on the interest side of the story and delve a little deeper into the life of an underground miner past and present. Should be just as interesting if not more.

Thanks again to both Paul and Mike.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Coalcast Ep5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations" - June 4, 2009

PostBy: pvolcko On: Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:45 pm

Thanks for listening everyone and thanks to Mike for being the first guest on the show!

We'll get it posted sometime tomorrow. Lots of good info in there.

For more info on the topic check out:
http://nepacrossroads.com/about11030.html
http://www.msha.gov/REGS/FEDREG/NOTICES/2008Misc/E8-29943.asp
http://www.msha.gov/regs/complian/guides/CommoandTracking.pdf
http://www.msha.gov/regs/complian/ppls/2009/PPL09-V-01.asp

In case anyone is wondering, something called a Leaky Feeder was mentioned during the show. Information on it can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaky_feeder. There are a number of other technologies used for tunnel based wireless communication and tracking, too. RFID tag based systems, pager systems, medium wave systems, even WiFi is used in some cases.

And links to Mike's related sites:
http://undergroundminers.com/
http://no9mine.com/

There is a short bio on him available at: http://undergroundminers.com/mikea.html.
pvolcko
 

Re: Coalcast Ep5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations" - June 4, 2009

PostBy: 009to090 On: Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:00 pm

Mike mentioned that 50-60-70 "Nodes" or "antennas" would have to be setup "line-of-sight" in a Anthrasite mine, because of so many bends, twists, and curves in the vein. My concern is if a incident such as a cave-in happened, wouldn't those nodes loose "Line-of-sight" ? In my mind, wouldn't a wired system connecting all the nodes, be a better alternative? Just put the wires in sched80 iron pipe and bury it a couple inches. That'll make sure communications is never lost during fire or cave-in?
But that does not address the wireless devices the miners will have to wear on their belts. Mikes suggestion was good that the active working face is only 200ft anyway, so anyone up top will know where the miners are. Hence, no need for the devices to begin with.

Interesting topic!
009to090
 
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Re: Coalcast Ep5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations" - June 4, 2009

PostBy: pvolcko On: Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:56 pm

I think part of the rules is that there are two paths of communication, either two entry points need to be covered by a single system or two systems going into a single entry point. The two entry point scheme makes sense and would have a decent chance of preserving comms in the event of a cave in. The two systems in a single entry point, though, seems far less likely to be useful. In such a case a buried wire, perhaps with "hardened" wireless antenna nodes along it to give the wireless feature needed, would be far more likely to survive. Or perhaps a hybrid system where a wireless antenna or two are attached to a wired system in the active section of the mine. Should be far less expensive andprovide all the tracking and comms features required by the new mandate.

Of course, this is all a bit beside the main point. According to Mike any RF system is going go against manufacturer warnings on blasting trigger equipment. If they can not at least get an exemption to turn off the wireless system while setting up and conducting a blast then that would appear to be a large risk. I suspect having a RF system online against the explosive manufacturers recommendations would invalidate any insurance coverage if an event occurred. If they can't get an exemption or if the explosive manufacturers will not certify their equipment to work along side the RF range these comm/tracking systems work in, then it seems that would be the end of underground anthracite mining.
pvolcko
 

Re: Coalcast Ep5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations" - June 4, 2009

PostBy: 009to090 On: Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:13 pm

pvolcko wrote: then it seems that would be the end of underground anthracite mining.

From what Mike was saying about MSHA's quote, (sorry, this is from memory) '"We do not plan on putting any mine out of bussiness", leads me to believe the regulations may be put in place, but maybe they don't plan on enforcing it?
009to090
 
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Re: Coalcast Ep5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations" - June 4, 2009

PostBy: mike On: Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:30 pm

It's more like they don't intend on putting a mine out of buisness by enforcing a regulation but if it does happen so be it.
mike
 
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Re: Coalcast Ep5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations" - June 4, 2009

PostBy: 009to090 On: Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:33 pm

mike wrote:It's more like they don't intend on putting a mine out of buisness by enforcing a regulation but if it does happen so be it.


Ahhh, ok.... I missunderstood that one.
009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice

Re: Coalcast Ep5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations" - June 4, 2009

PostBy: pvolcko On: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:57 pm

mp3 uploaded and posted at top of thread.
pvolcko
 

Re: Coalcast Ep5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations" - June 4, 2009

PostBy: coal berner On: Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:16 am

mike wrote:It's more like they don't intend on putting a mine out of buisness by enforcing a regulation but if it does happen so be it.

Mike here are the coal tonnage Production Numbers for the Underground mines for 2008 from the highest to the lowest
mine . Toltal # of Underground Mines Are 12 with 110 miners 2008.
Two of them Mines in 2009 are not Running / Closed
Toltal of coal tons for all of the 12 mines 2008 was 235.899 Tons of Coal . 12 mines

2007 was 209.608 Tons with 13 mines.
2006 Toltal Tons where 270.773 with 14 mines
2005 Toltal Tons 189.899 with 17 mines
2004 Toltal Tons 271.029 with 20 mines
2003 Toltal Tons 308.464 with 27 mines
2002 Toltal Tons 203.253 with 26 mines
2001 Total Tons 154.111 with 13 mines
2000 Total Tons 220.462 with 23 mines
1999 Toltal Tons 311.512 with 22 mines
1998 Toltal Tons 412.394 with 38 mines

UAE CoalCorp Assoc. Harmony mine 141.161Tons with 47 Employees with 102.186 Hours Worked - Columbia County Pa.
2008

Kimmel's Mining INC. Williamstown # 1 Mine 29.002 Tons with 16 Employees 26.641 Hours Worked- Schuylkill County PA.
2008

RS & W Coal Co. Wood Drift Mine 17.849 Tons with 6 Employees 9.438 Hours Worked Schuylkill County PA.
2008

Orchard Coal Co INC. Orchard Coal Mine 14.076 Tons with 9 Employees 17.053 Hours Worked- Schuylkill County PA.
2008

B & B Anthracite Coal Co. Rock Ridge Mine 13.901 Tons with 8 Employees 14.560 Hours Worked- Schuylkill County PA.
2008

Bear Gap Coal Co. N & L Slope Mine 5.918 Tons with 4 Employees 6.720 Hours Worked- Northumberland County PA.
2008

S & M Coal Co. Buck Mountain Mine 4.667 Tons with 4 Employees 6.328 Hours Worked- Dauphin County PA.
2008

Alfred Brown Coal Brown 7 Ft Mine 4.148 Tons with 4 Employees 4.410 Hours Worked- Schuylkill County PA.
2008

K & C Coal Co K & C Mine 3.309 Tons with 3 Employees 4.820 Hours Worked- Schuylkill County PA .
2008

FKZ Coal INC. No 1 Mine 1.350 Tons with 5 Employees 7.390 Hours Worked- Northumberland County PA.
2008

Little Buck Coal Co. Little Buck Mine 406 Tons with 2 Employees 780 Hours Worked- Schuylkill County PA.
2008

Joliett Coal Co. Joliett Coal 3 Mine 112 Tons with 2 Employees 1.106 Hours Worked- Schuylkill County PA.
2008
coal berner
 
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Re: Coalcast Ep5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations" - June 4, 2009

PostBy: pvolcko On: Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:46 am

JC, where did you get those numbers? I don't doubt them, just wondering what the source is. I brought up some 2007 numbers from the EIA. 15 mines, 190+ employees, 224KTons total PA production from underground anthracite mines. Bit different than what you provided, but not too far off. Not sure what the mine count would be different, but EIA listed employees whereas you're providing miners so that explains that discrepency.

http://www.eia.gov/coal/annual/
2007 figures, published sept 2008. Latest report from that agency. The have quarterly reports too, but not the detailed breakdown of surface vs underground mines and they don't include employment figures.
pvolcko
 

Re: Coalcast Ep5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations" - June 4, 2009

PostBy: mike On: Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:12 am

The best place to get production figures for the deep mines is from MSHA's website. Look for the link for the data retreval system and you could find out citations written for each mine and tons of coal produced.
mike
 
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Re: Coalcast Ep5: "Anthracite Mining Regulations" - June 4, 2009

PostBy: pvolcko On: Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:10 pm

Thanks for the tip. Culled some data from the site and put it into a spreadsheet. If anyone's interested.
Attachments
Coal_Mines.xls
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pvolcko