The company idled the Paradise mine during September 2009 with the intention of building a new mine. The process included: Constructing a new underground access slope from the No. 11 to the No. 9 coal seams; recovery of the equipment from and the sealing of the old No. 9 workings; upgrading of all conveyor systems; and upgrading of all power systems and mining machinery. As this work is nears completion, coal production will resume in the new No. 9 seam area at the Paradise mine at the end of February 2010.
KenAmerican will return the Paradise mine to eventual full production as quickly as possible and gradually increase the employment level to operate three, and possibly four, modern continuous miner super sections in the entirely new mine with all new or rebuilt equipment.
Construction of new portal facilities on the surface for the Paradise mine is ongoing and will be completed in early 2011. These installations include access roads, major intake and return air shafts, a large hoist for all manpower and equipment, bathhouse, offices, warehouse, and all other installations to make the Paradise mine entirely new.
“This work should restore the Paradise mine to the No. 1 position in productivity in the Illinois Basin, a record KenAmerican demonstrated from its inception in the mid-1990s until about three years ago,” said General Manager Mark D. Nelson.
“With new excellent mining conditions, portal facilities, preparation plant, new equipment and total underground renovation, KenAmerican and Paradise will be the best mine in which to work in Western Kentucky,” said Superintendent Michael W. McNell.
“Furthermore, with our very extensive, high quality reserve base, KenAmerican’s new Paradise mine will be in existence for about 30 years,” said Nelson. “This will provide stable employment and retirement opportunities for our employees.”