Company officials said that high carbon monoxide readings were taken at about 7:30 p.m. on July 15 at the Montgomery County mine, indicating the existence of a fire. No injuries have been reported.
“Hillsboro officials identified the affected area and have been working with federal and state officials implementing an approved plan to contain and extinguish,” the company said in a statement. “Two holes have been drilled into the coal mine and water is being pumped into the affected area.”
The mine did not publicly update the operational status of the mine Monday, but a Mine Safety and Health Administration spokesperson confirmed that water pumping is ongoing.
“The operator has estimated [as of Monday, to MSHA officials] that they have pumped approximately 15 million gallons of water into the mine,” the agency official said.
According to a Bloomberg report, there should not be a short-term impact to coal shipments due to the fire because of efficient stockpiles as well as Macoupin’s excess capacity; additionally, it said, the fire reportedly was not near the mine’s longwall face and equipment.
The Deer Run longwall mine produces approximately 500,000 clean tons per month under normal operations.
Illinois Basin-focused Foresight Energy currently has more than 3 billion tons of coal reserves currently supporting four mining complexes: Williamson, Sugar Camp, Hillsboro and Macoupin.