Peabody confirmed that a fire began early on March 29, 2023, at its Shoal Creek mine involving void fill material used to stabilize the roof structure of the mine. All mine personnel were safely evacuated from the mine, which is located near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA. The mine deployed a team of firefighters to address the incident; at the time of the evacuation, they reported that no flames were visible. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has been notified of the incident and is working with mine personnel to monitor the underground environment and determine a safe plan for mine re-entry. Peabody said gas monitoring of the exhaust air is showing acceptable air quality and atmospheric conditions within the mine.
The incident remains subject to further investigation. Peabody said it is unable to provide any estimates as to the impact of the fire on the Shoal Creek mine or on the company’s overall operations at this time, but they said they intend to provide further updates on this incident as more information becomes available.
Shoal Creek employs approximately 419 miners and is a production-stage longwall mine. The mine extracts metallurgical grade coal from the Mary Lee and Blue Creek seams at depths of 1,000 to 1,300 feet. In 2022, Shoal Creek produced approximately 800,000 tons of coal in 2022.