The company initially said July 20 that both the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Office of Mines and Minerals (IDNR) had given the go-ahead to power restoration for a portion of the mine near Hillsboro, Montgomery County.
On July 28, Foresight said mining activities will continue over “several days” until it reaches a location where the longwall can be safely recovered. Deer Run is planning to relocate the setup to a new mining district.
“Upon completion of this longwall move, Foresight will seal the current longwall district and then utilize continuous mining machines to resume development of the next longwall district, in a new area of the mine,” officials said. “Foresight continues to work with regulatory agencies for the purpose of completing this longwall move and fully resuming normal longwall mining operations at the Deer Run mine.”
The mine had been idled since elevated carbon monoxide levels were detected on March 26, and officials have not publicly confirmed when a restart could be announced. Problems at Deer Run actually began more than a year ago; in July 2014, a fire at the complex resulted in an estimated 500,000 tons of lost production.
Deer Run produced 5.5 million tons in 2014. Foresight also owns the Pond Creek and Sugar Camp longwall mines and the Shay No. 1 continuous miner operation, all in Illinois.