The Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine is currently undergoing repair work to make it safer for all who visit.
During the Tuesday, January 11, meeting of the Beckley Common Council, Leslie Baker, Director of Operations for the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, explained that the mine is now in its 60th year, and it was time to make it as safe as possible.
“As we were looking back over the records, nothing had really been done major since maybe the 90’s,” Baker said, adding that there were some “concerns involving rib blowouts over the years.”
The blowouts are nothing dangerous, Baker noted, and the top is always secure, but no one ever wants to see rocks on the tracks.
Now, through a collaborative effort with Jennmar and Ukrainian-based Metinvest, parent company of the Affinity Mine, 300 rib bolts are being placed inside the mine to secure the sidewalls, and other improvements are being made to bring the mine out of what Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold referred to as the “pick and shovel days.”
“It’s exciting what is going on underground,” Baker said of those who are putting in the time to make these upgrades possible. “They are going above and beyond.”
At this time, through an ongoing three year partnership with the above companies, all of the work being completed in the Exhibition Coal Mine is being done at very little cost to the city of Beckley, Baker explained. In the future, there may be a $10,000 charge for labor, but that doesn’t seem likely through help from Affinity.
“I just can’t say enough that we will have the safest Exhibition Coal Mine and it will go on, they said, for another 60 years,” Baker said.
“We are all proud,” Rappold stated, speaking for himself and the council.