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Abner Branch Rider Mine

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

Abner Branch Rider Mine is an underground mine operated by Bledsoe Coal in Leslie County, Kentucky, and owned by James River Coal.

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Mining violations

On April 12, 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced that it had issued a notice of a pattern of violations to two coal mining operations under Section 104(e) of the federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977: Bledsoe Coal Corp.’s Abner Branch Rider Mine in Leslie County, Ky., and the New West Virginia Mining Co.’s Apache Mine in McDowell County, W.Va.[1]

In May 2011, MSHA announced that it had issued 10 withdrawal orders at Bledsoe Coal Corp.'s Abner Branch Rider Mine, just one month after the Leslie County, Ky., operation received a notice of a pattern of violations. The orders mark an unprecedented use by the agency of an enforcement action under Section 104(e) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. The 10 withdrawal orders include two issued on May 3, 2011, because the mine roof was not adequately supported to prevent a potential roof fall. Of the remaining orders, three were issued on May 10, 2011 for inadequate ventilation controls and inadequate roof, rib and face support, causing the withdrawal of more than 30 miners working over three shifts. Inspectors found that ventilation controls between the secondary escapeway and the belt entry had become damaged and difficult to open. The order related to inadequate ventilation controls was terminated the following day when the operator installed a pressure relief slider in the personnel door and made modifications to enable the doors to easily open.[2]

Mine Data

  • MSHA ID: 1519132
  • Operator: Bledsoe Coal Corporation
  • Controller: James River Coal Company
  • Union:
  • County: Leslie
  • State: Kentucky
  • Latitude: 36.99
  • Longitude: -83.2900009155273
  • 2010 Production (short tons): 223,476
  • Coal Type:
  • Mining Method: Underground
  • Mine Status: Active
  • Average No. of Employees:

Articles and resources

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References

  1. Ken Ward Jr., "MSHA puts two mines on ‘pattern of violations’" Coal Tattoo, April 12, 2011.
  2. "PRESS RELEASE: MSHA Issues 10 Withdrawal Orders At Kentucky Coal Mine On Pattern Of Violations" Wall Street Journal, May 18, 2011.

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