After discussions between agency officials and mine representatives, MSHA has agreed to a revised and improved ventilation proposal. Massey believes the revised ventilation design will improve the distribution of air in the following ways:
• Conveyor belt air will be allowed to ventilate the longwall at Revolution while it was not allowed at UBB. This change will increase the amount of air on the longwall face.
• Adjacent longwall panels can now be ventilated with return air so fresh air is not wasted in these areas and can instead be sent to where crews are working.
• Stopping lines will no longer be required to provide an isolated tail entry on the longwall.
Massey is pleased MSHA officials have changed their position on mine ventilation in favor of a plan that will improve miner safety by increasing the distribution of fresh air throughout the Revolution facility. However, Massey remains perplexed at MSHA’s continual refusal to authorize the usage of scrubbers at all Massey coal mines. These air filtering devices remain idled despite reports from the U.S. Government’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health that document 98% of the dust in the mine air can be removed by these scrubbers. MSHA’s inexplicable prohibition on the universal and uniform application of scrubbers undermines the agency’s mission of safeguarding the health and safety of American miners.
Now that the mine’s management feels the Revolution development is safe to operate, the mine has been placed back into production. However, the roof conditions, ventilation plan delays and required ventilation changes kept the mine idle for longer than anticipated, which is negatively impacting Massey’s third quarter shipments. This negative impact was reflected in the guidance update released by the company September 16, 2010.