North American Coal Corp. has reportedly stopped production at the Falkirk mine near Underwood, North Dakota, after the mine’s dragline, Old Ironsides, slid onto its side in a ground slip this week.
NA Coal Government and Public Affairs Director David Straley told the Bismarck Tribune that the operator of the 13-million-lb machine (formally known as dragline 102) was working at the East mine pit on June 16 began to notice the slipping around 4:30 p.m. local time. He was able to escape the cab without injury, and no other miners were hurt.
Bulldozers aided in pushing dirt against the dragline and movement stopped about an hour later.
While a request for comment from NA Coal wasn’t immediately returned, officials told the Tribune that it expects the machine will be returned to its position and working again within the next 10 days. Only minor damage to the machine was reported.
NA Coal also noted that coal is still being removed from another area of the pit, so operations have not completely stopped. In the meantime, Straley said geologists and engineers have been called in to examine the cause of the bench slip and NA Coal is developing a plan to remove the unit from its leaning position.