Mountaineer Alma A Mine

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

Mountaineer Alma A Mine is an underground coal mining operation in Mingo County, West Virginia, operated by Cobra Natural Resources and owned by Alpha Natural Resources.

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Mine Data

  • MSHA ID: 4608730
  • Operator: Cobra Natural Resources LLC
  • Controller: Alpha Natural Resources LLC
  • Union:
  • County: Mingo
  • State: West Virginia
  • Latitude: 37.37
  • Longitude: -81.59
  • 2007 Production (short tons): 1,233,880
  • Coal Type: Bituminous
  • Mining Method: Underground
  • Mine Status: Active
  • Average No. of Employees: 202

Flood

In 2009, 7 workers at the mine were trapped underground for nearly 24 hours by a serious mine flood. In its final report on that incident, MSHA concluded: "The mine’s escapeways were blocked when the surface water entered the mine, preventing seven miners from exiting the mine and entrapping them for approximately 24 hours." The MSHA report listed two primary causes for the incident:[1]

  • The mine operator did not regularly monitor and properly maintain the mine’s system of diversion ditches, designed to route storm runoff surface water away from the mine portals and into ponds constructed to handle runoff.
  • The mine operator failed to monitor the portals of the underground mine where storm runoff surface water entered the portals, accumulated in a low area in the mine and blocked the primary and alternate escapeways.

Articles and resources

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References

  1. Ken Ward Jr., "Massey update: More on the Alpha buyout" Coal Tattoo, Jan. 30, 2011.

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