coal mining

Photo of the Day

The Last Survivor: At 4 p.m., moaning was heard near a crop hole, and a rescuer was lowered through the hole on a rope. About 100 feet below, he found miner Peter Urban sitting on the shattered body of his brother, Stanislaus, staring glassy eyed into space as he sobbed uncontrollably. He was the last survivor of the Monongah disaster. He escaped the full blast of the explosion and was brought up to the light of day through a toad hole near the No. 8 portals. However, sad to say, this hard-working Polish immigrant, who survived the worst industrial accident in United States history, died 19 years later in an accident in the same Monongah coal mine from which he previously escaped. The poor fellow’s luck finally ran out!

Coal Mining Disaster in Monongah, West Virginia

?I was out on the loaded track and was looking toward the mouth of number 8 and the first thing I knew I saw timbers and everything flying through the air?. followed by black smoke. It seemed to me the smoke was afire. It seemed to me it was a short distance in the air, maybe fifty or sixty feet.??

This was the memory of Carl Meredith, a Foreman at the Fairmont Mine in West Virginia.

On December 6, 1907, at about 10:30 a.m., two coal mines ? connected underground ? known as Monongah No. 6 and Monongah No. 8, were destroyed by a series of explosions that killed more than 500 miners. While the official count listed 358 miners and three rescuers dead, the use of subcontractors by miners to increase their production, as well as the number of funerals, have lead historians to conclude that the number of dead likely exceeds 500.

With disregard for the safest mining practices of the time, the mines were connected underground on the west side of the West Fork River. As a result, the explosions needlessly killed?workers in both?mines.

The series of explosions in the mines in Monongah caused disruption not only underground but above ground as well. They rocked buildings in their foundations, tossed people like rag dolls and treated the transportation system like putty. Street cars were thrown from their rails like toys; horses fell on the streets as though light as feathers.

Such was the force of the explosions.

Read more »

What was Andrew Little’s role in Pike River?

Andrew Little 13

George commented last night:

Could you ever imagine John Key making such a childish statement when debating the recovery of the Pike River miners? Andrew Little at his contemptuous best. “Just this week, Mr Key sent Nick Smith to threaten the Pike families with arrest if they try to stop Solid Energy entombing their loved ones”. what a bonehead! It is statements like that which endorses the commonly held belief that he does not have the dignity, decorum or intelligence to lead the country. Whilst this braindead statement is a figment of his unionist imagination, the more disturbing aspect of this uttering is his belief that it will generate political capital. This is clear evidence how out of touch he is with the common decency of the average Kiwi.

Whilst we are on the issue of Pike River might I take the liberty to remind you Andrew of a few small details. At the time of the 2010 explosion you were head of the EPMU which represented approximately half of the 140 miners on the site. You said there had been no problems at Pike River Coal and defended its safety record. (21 Nov 2010 Morning Report RNZ) and (NZH 22 Nov). The question that needs to be answered is why you sat on your hands when members of your union had expressed concerns about the safety of the mine? ? Read more »

After Labour goes all in over Pike River the facts emerge

Labour has gone all in over Pike River trying to get a hit on John Key.

Yet again though they haven’t done their homework and after claiming it was safe to go get the charred remains (if any) the facts about the mine have emerged.

In a strongly worded statement released earlier today, Solid Energy hit out at “inaccurate and misleading statements in the media“, saying they were feeding “false hope”.

“It is disingenuous and, frankly, deeply disappointing for commentators who lack the full information base on which this decision was made – and who bear no legal responsibility for the outcomes of the re-entry project – to once again raise hopes regarding re-entry,” the statement said.

The company said its decision was based on an exhaustive investigation into the feasibility of safe re-entry and was backed by the independent expertise of Emeritus Professor Jim Galvin – a professor of mining engineering at the University of New South Wales and an internationally recognised expert in underground coal mining risk management. ? Read more »

Stick Paris agreement up your ass says Trump

Donald Trump has announced his energy plan which includes withdrawing from?the?Paris agreement and stop payments to the UN on climate change:

Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald?Trump?unveiled an “America first” energy plan he said would unleash unfettered production of oil, coal, natural gas and other energy sources to push the United States toward energy independence.

Mr Trump promised on Thursday to cancel the Paris?climate?agreement and stop all payments of US?tax money to a United Nations fund to mitigate effects of?climate?change worldwide.

But the speech, delivered at the annual Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, North Dakota, went far beyond energy, as Mr Trump?laid out, in his most detail to date, a populist general election pitch against likely rival Hillary Clinton.

“She’s declared war on the American worker,” Mr Trump?said of Mrs Clinton, reading from prepared remarks in a stadium packed with thousands.

Read more »

Eh wot? Greenpeace lobbies for coal mine to stay open?

I know…hard to believe…but its true.

Greenpeace appears to be?lobbying for a coal mine to stay open.

They are criticising?Genesis for ceasing coal usage to generate electricity because it?jeopardises coal miners livelihoods.

Last week, Genesis, the company that runs Huntly Power Station, announced it was shutting down its smoke-belching, coal-fired boilers as competition from cheaper power like wind and solar is making it too expensive to run.

This is good news for our health and the future of our children, and an important step towards taking the pollution out of our economy.

But while we herald this as a victory for common sense and necessary to safeguard our planet, we must not forget that this decision will affect people?s livelihoods and families.

Small communities up and down the country have long mined for coal, and the industry has played an important part in the survival of these local economies. ?? Read more »

Denniston Plateau coal mine appeal thrown out

Forest and Bird’s appeal against the Denniston Plateau coal mine has been tossed out.

If he’s true to form we can no doubt expect Nasty Norman to threaten Bathurst with an instant closure of Denniston should the Greens form a government in 2014.

Comments please Damian O’Connor – is it to be jobs for Coasters or will you be kowtowing to the Greens?

Conservationists fighting a decision to allow an Australian mining company to dig for coal on the West Coast’s Denniston Plateau have suffered a major setback today with a High Court appeal being thrown out.

The Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society appealed interim resource consent given to Bathurst Resources Limited for an 188ha open-cast mine on the plateau near Westport.

It argued that the Environment Court did not give proper consideration to the possibility of there being two open-cast coal mines simultaneously working the area when it gave Bathurst the go-ahead.? Read more »

Trotter on the Jobs Crisis Summit: Evasions and Promises

Chris Trotter is…let’s say disappointed…at?the?Jobs Crisis Summit:

LAST FRIDAY, Trevor Bolderson, a coal-miner from the West Coast, rose to his feet and asked: ?What are you going to do for my little town of Greymouth?? His question was directed at Winston Peters from NZ First, Russel Norman from The Greens and Labour?s finance spokesperson, David Parker. The venue was the ?Jobs Crisis Summit? organised by Mr Bolderson?s trade union, the Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU). Like the German workers of eighty years ago, he too was looking for salvation.

All he got were evasions and promises.

Evasions and Promises…nice.

The assembled politicians would only tell him what he and his workmates already knew. That the lay-offs of Solid Energy?s administrative and mining employees must be understood in the context of the Government?s plans to partially privatise the state-owned energy sector.

No one was willing to give Mr Bolderson an unequivocal commitment to re-opening the Spring Creek Mine. No one spoke of state ownership offering employees and their unions a greater role in managing New Zealand?s energy resources. No one denounced the madness of mothballing a highly productive coal mine and laying-off its highly skilled workers when international demand for its top-grade product is certain to recover as China?s stock-piles dwindle.

Here Trotter is being disingenuous…Spring Creek isn’t highly profitable and never has been.

Trotters solution should scare you all:

If New Zealand?s labour movement is to fare better than its German counterpart of eighty years ago, then not only must it formulate an equally radical plan for ?massive state intervention? and democratic restructuring of our economy, but also ensure that Labour, the peoples party, commits itself, body and soul, to making it happen.

Green politics and Helen Clark killed 29 Miners

Yesterday on Radio Live, Matthew Hooton raised some interesting points about the Pike River mining disaster and lays the blame for the disaster squarely at?the?feet of Helen Clark and her cabinet.?(Thursday 25/11 listen after 3:15pm)

To my?knowledge?the design of this mine was entirely predicated by the interference of green politics. The Helen Clark led Labour cabinet approved the Pike River mine but with some design contraints that probably have led directly to the deaths of 29 miners.

Due to the location, the conditions of the access arrangement required special consideration for the environment, such as a need to minimise tree felling and a requirement to reinstate all above-ground areas after mining ceases. Opponents of the mine strongly criticised the approval of the access agreement, noting that the coal is not intended for domestic use but simply a commercial operation, and thus should not have been allowed to go forward in a sensitive location.?Forest & Bird also criticised the fact that the Minister of Conservation chose to ignore the report from the Department of Conservation stating that the mine would be damaging to the local environment.?Greenpeace Aotearoa New Zealand also criticised the project for furthering the use of?fossil fuels instead of developing sustainable alternatives.

Those protestations by the green movement and together with the?constraints?placed upon the operation by the Department of Conservation and its minister (Chris Carter) at the time, meant that Pike River mine was built in a highly unique way, with a method that well may be proven to have led to the build up of gases to such a critical level.

By insisting that the mine?entrance?be placed outside Paparoa National Park and also, information suggests, veto-ing the boring of a second?ventilation?shaft because of a blue duck living in the area meant that undue risks were placed on the miners. They had to tunnel from below the actual seam of coal and through more than 2kms under the National Park in order to gain access to the resource. Normally mines are?built?atop the mineral to be extracted, if normal mining operations are being undertaking, thus boring down onto the resource, but also allowing lighter than air gases such as methane to escape. By having to mine from below the?resource?and by failing to allow a second?ventilation?shaft because of a stupid duck, they may have killed those miners.

This is the only mine in the world that has its entrance BELOW the resource and mines up and towards the resources. Methane, a lighter than air gas had nowhere to go. The mine operation is described in Wikipedia, clearly showing the contraints placed upon operation.

The coal is mined 200m underground, at 800m above sea level, quarrying coal from the Brunner coal seam. The coal is taken from the mine via a ‘drift’, a gently-sloping 5 degree tunnel 2.3?km long. This tunnel has taken large amounts of dynamite to create, as the rock is described as being up to four times harder than concrete. Since the?coal face will be located higher than the tunnel entrance, removal of material to a processing plant 10.6?km away will be via a?slurry pipeline (with a 35% solids share).

Another major feature of the underground works is a 110m-deep ventilation shaft. After local ground conditions were found to be worse than expected, it was excavated with a?raise-bore system excavating the 4.25m ventilation shaft from a 0.35m pilot drill shaft.?Access to the top of the ventilation shaft is by helicopter only, even during construction, as conservation restrictions do not allow roads to be built to reach this point.

Make no mistake, conservation restrictions placed upon the company by green politics and the enviro-fascism of Helen Clark have led directly to the deaths of these 29 miners.

If normal mining methods had been allowed or even open cast mining then 29 miners may well be alive today. Helen Clark, Chris Carter, Greenpeace, Forest and Bird and the Department of Conservation may well have blood on their hads by making politically?expedient?decisions that protected trees and ducks over hard-working miners.

Boobs on Bikes: Unreleased photo

A previously unreleased photo from Boobs on Bikes has been sent to me because the MSm won’t publish it. WOBH is not constrained by such puritan moralistic rules.