50th Anniversary of the Knox Mine Disaster

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billw
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Post Thu. Jan. 29, 2009 11:49 am

I don't know much about mining but I have a question about the mines that were flooded. The river broke through and flooded everything that was interconnected but the breach was permanently plugged. I remember seeing pictures of the diversion dam built in the river so construction crews could properly fill the breach. So if the original breach is sealed why couldn't coal mining continue in the area if they pumped all of the water out and stayed away from the river? I know it's not economically feasible at this point but could it be done?


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Chris Murley
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Post Fri. Jan. 30, 2009 6:42 am

well there are several problems and the one major one stopping it is you can no longer mine under residential areas..... i.e. the entire northern field. second, that water is now creating a hydrolic pressure that is limiting subsidences. third, if you could mine under residential neighborhoods the public would have a fit and make like miserable. fourth, mine operators are now required to fix any subsidences they cause on the surface and are responsible for them. I wouldnt want that risk! and the finally, when the knox broke in it didnt flood the entire basin, only about half of it. now its all full of water since the pumps have been shut off, going on 50 years next year. ground water filled up the mines and now it would be so economically unfeasable youd have to sell coal for around 3 grand a ton. think of it this way, the mines are a big swimming pool. throw a garden hose in there, that resembles the ground water entering the pool. now put a pump in the bottom that keeps up with the hose to keep the pool (mines) dry. now, shut down the pump for a few years. what happens, the pool fills up. now throw that pump back in there and try to pump the pool down, and remember that hose is still there keeping it full! see the point, you cant pump the mine pool down without enormous investment, and if you did..... the ground would be hateful! plus, another point, what if there is a collapse keeping millions of gallons back. well if you go deep and find this collapse and reopen it, you are in a world of trouble. so theres a few of the reasons.......

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Sting
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Post Fri. Jan. 30, 2009 4:42 pm

Very interesting reading

Thank-you Chris

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Chris Murley
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Post Fri. Jan. 30, 2009 6:38 pm

yep, no problem. if you have any more questions ill do my best to answer them..... heres a few never before seen pics from the river slope.

Image

River Slope Entrance

Image

Mine Car off of rock tunnel in knox workings after dewatering. notice the measuring sticks marking dewatering progress.

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billw
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Post Fri. Jan. 30, 2009 8:16 pm

Thanks Chris, I never thought it would be that complicated. I guess if we had a fairly strong earthquake there would be a new geographic formation, Lake Wilkes-Barre.

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Chris Murley
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Post Fri. Jan. 30, 2009 9:50 pm

if we had an earth quake here, that would be disastrous. glad I live in clarks summit ;) im sure youve seen our site, if not its full of old works in the northern field.... http://www.undergroundminers.com

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lowfog01
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Post Fri. Jan. 30, 2009 10:02 pm

This is all so cool! I’ve always been fascinated with US history. Growing up in the Midwest and Deep South I never heard much about the PA coal mines but clearly this area has an incredible history. Thanks for bringing to my attention. Lisa

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gaw
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Post Sat. Feb. 07, 2009 9:07 am

Here is a 2 minute segment that was on the local TV station about the Knox mine.
http://www.wnep.com/global/video/flash/popupplaye ... d=96509404


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Post Sat. Mar. 27, 2010 9:19 am

Is it safe to boat ,fish or otherwise enter the water near that place today. :shock:

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nortcan
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Post Wed. Mar. 31, 2010 12:48 pm

Hi, here we don't know very much about anthracite mining and I find this subject super interessant and instructive.
I always asked to myself how you do to seperate coal (bit) from anthracite while mining?
What is a strip mine compared with a deed mine? Maybe my questions sound like simplist for you but for me it's quite complicated all these mining expressions.
Thanks to help me in this area of yours.
Salutations

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freetown fred
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Post Wed. Mar. 31, 2010 1:57 pm

I was raised in Bucks County,Pa & knew friends fathers & grandfathers who worked either in the Coal Mines or Bethleham Steel--I heard alot of stories about the mines,but finally took the time to check out these videos--thanx for the post :!:

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HarryE
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Post Wed. Mar. 31, 2010 2:45 pm

nortcan wrote:Hi, here we don't know very much about anthracite mining and I find this subject super interessant and instructive.
I always asked to myself how you do to seperate coal (bit) from anthracite while mining?
Thanks to help me in this area of yours.
Salutations
Originally, the actual anthracite coal was separated out from the slate, rock, dirt, etc. that came up from the mine by "breaker boys." These very young boys would sit on long benches and pick out the chunks of coal that went by them on a conveyor belt. Of course, they missed a lot of coal. The discarded "gob" would be placed in a big pile called a "culm bank." These "eye sores" were found all over the anthracite mine country. Eventually, people realized that the culm banks contained a lot of valuable coal that could be pulverized and used as fuel by electric power plants. The culm banks have mostly disappeared.

In the 1930's, an engineer invented a device called a "menzies cone" that perfected the process of separating out the anthracite by means of centrifugal force and water jets although big chunks of slate were still picked out by hand. I believe that it is still in use. See link below.

**Broken Link(s) Removed**

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Post Wed. Mar. 31, 2010 4:09 pm

nortcan wrote:I always asked to myself how you do to seperate coal (bit) from anthracite while mining?
I'm going out on a limb here, but I don't think it is neccessary to seperate the two as they are not in the ground in the same place. I don't think the two types of coal are formed together. Chris M. or coalburner could give a more definitive answer to this.

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nortcan
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Post Thu. Apr. 01, 2010 1:39 pm

HarryE wrote:
nortcan wrote:Hi, here we don't know very much about anthracite mining and I find this subject super interessant and instructive.
I always asked to myself how you do to seperate coal (bit) from anthracite while mining?
Thanks to help me in this area of yours.
Salutations
Originally, the actual anthracite coal was separated out from the slate, rock, dirt, etc. that came up from the mine by "breaker boys." These very young boys would sit on long benches and pick out the chunks of coal that went by them on a conveyor belt. Of course, they missed a lot of coal. The discarded "gob" would be placed in a big pile called a "culm bank." These "eye sores" were found all over the anthracite mine country. Eventually, people realized that the culm banks contained a lot of valuable coal that could be pulverized and used as fuel by electric power plants. The culm banks have mostly disappeared.

In the 1930's, an engineer invented a device called a "menzies cone" that perfected the process of separating out the anthracite by means of centrifugal force and water jets although big chunks of slate were still picked out by hand. I believe that it is still in use. See link below.

**Broken Link(s) Removed**
Hi, thanks for the info. Salutatations

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nortcan
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Post Thu. Apr. 01, 2010 1:42 pm

ceccil wrote:
nortcan wrote:I always asked to myself how you do to seperate coal (bit) from anthracite while mining?
I'm going out on a limb here, but I don't think it is neccessary to seperate the two as they are not in the ground in the same place. I don't think the two types of coal are formed together. Chris M. or coalburner could give a more definitive answer to this.
Hi, thanks for the info.
Salutations


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