Not sure if this is new news or a rehash from the other paper.
Revett Minerals explores mine possibilities
Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 1:36 pm
Justyna Tomtas/Valley Press | 0 comments
THOMPSON FALLS – Revett Minerals met with the Sanders County Board of Commissioners on Thursday to discuss progress at both Troy and Rock Creek mines.
The Troy Mine in Lincoln County has yet to get their production running after a hazardous rock fall in December and although they have not had to lay off any employees, President and CEO of the company, John Shanahan is unsure of what is up ahead.
“In the middle of December last year, we suspended underground operations because of a situation where the stability or integrity of the operations underground were not at a place where we felt safe or responsible to operate,” said Shanahan. “We’ve been working with the Mine Safety Authority and looking at various plans to try to get back into production and open some areas where we believe we can get back into normalized activities.”
The Troy Mine currently employs about 200 people, 40 to 45 of those coming from Sanders County.
“You can’t be a responsible operator and we can never be the company we want to be unless the safety of our workforce is paramount,” said Shanahan.
As of now, Revett is still unsure of what caused the rock fall, whether it was natural seismic activity or because of something the company may have done.
At the time of the rock fall, no seismic monitoring system was in place.
Although Shanahan stated that getting through the tough patch has been hard, the employees have been working normal hours focusing on maintenance, preventative maintenance and cross training.
Shanahan stated that the mine has also had crews on a limited basis working back underground scaling, dewatering and developing drifts.
Larry Erickson of Revett Minerals said the company has recently opened up an area within the mine.
“We’re doing some exploration work and we did some ground control work in there and secured the whole area,” said Erickson.
In addition to that, the company is working on putting together a proposal which will be sent into the Montana Safety and Health Administration to do further exploration from the south end of the mine.
“We found certain portions are in decently good shape so we’ll continue on exploring that part of the mine. That’s kind of where we are at today. It’s moving forward steadily,” said Erickson.
Shanahan hopes that by April, the mine will be able to get back to some limited production.
“We may look in six months time and say, that was just a tough time and we got through it. I hope that to be the case but in six months time if we’re sitting there and not getting back to where we need to be, we are going to have to make those decisions,” said Shanahan.
Since their last update with the Sanders County Commissioners, not much progress has been made on the Rock Creek mine, which sits just outside of Noxon.
“I mean we’re always working on something,” said Erickson. “It’s never on schedule but it is progressing. We are driving it forward and we will continue to do that.”