as long as you guys keep burnin' it, it will keep gettin' dug! however, msha is really bearing down pretty hard on the deep mining guys with fines. the word "nit picking" comes to mind. one operator was fined cause one employee had his shoes untied, "unsafe working conditions" it was called. another was fined for "inadequate toilet paper"!
this is not word of mouth from this guy who tells this guy who tells this guy who told me..... i heard it directly from each operator! basically what it comes down to is all the federal msha regulations, not the state regulations got combined from anthracite and bitty. they are attempting to enforce bitty laws in an anthracite mine. most of which will not work cause its 2 totally different mining styles, except 2 anthracite mines which are working flat pitch, harmony and kimmels. they use continous miners, shuttle cars and scoops. the other 15 or so, are being mined just like they were 100 years ago, wooden coal chutes up the pitch, being as almost all the mines are in the southern field and the pitch is near vertical. up north here (scranton wilkesbarre) my neck of the woods, the veins are relatively flat. however there are no active mines up north as of right now....... for now
anyways, the 2 mines mentioned earlier using mining machinery, are running nearly flat pitch where the coal veins came up the side of the hill and instead of outcropping they humped over the top and are pretty much flat on the top. now would it have been better to strip the top of the hill away? maybe...... but deep mining is so much more fun