Foresight Energy announced that on July 28 a team of examiners and U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) officials re-entered the company's Deer Run mine and conducted an examination. This examination included visual observations and air quality and quantity readings throughout the mine. Based on this exam, and the continued low carbon monoxide levels, it appears that the effort to contain and extinguish the fire has been successful.
In addition, during the examination process, a limited section of the headgate area of the longwall was observed. Based on this limited observation, it appears there was no damage to the longwall and related equipment.
The next step in the re-entry process is to pump water from the mine, which has commenced. After sufficient pumping, an observation period will begin. During the observation period, mine personnel will be working with MSHA on a plan for the workforce to reenter the mine.
The mine, located near Hillsboro, Illinois, USA, was evacuated on July 15 when high CO readings indicated the possible existence of a fire. Two holes were been drilled into the affected area and water was pumped in to extinguish the fire. The Deer Run longwall mine produces approximately 500,000 clean tons per month under normal operations.