Deer Creek Mining into the Future
|Deer Creek Mine is under expansion.|
At a recent Emery County commission meeting an update was given by Deb Dull from Utah Power. Dull said they had recently hired two individuals from the county to work at the Huntington Plant in clerical positions. Also a position for a utility worker netted 115 applications and 83 of those were from local applicants. There will also be openings for utility workers at the Hunter Plant in the near future. To apply for these openings an applicant needs to apply through the website. Carl Pollastro, Manager of Administration/Technical Services for Energy West was introduced to the meeting by Dull.
Pollastro said they are currently developing the Mill Fork tract and it is their next large lease. There are approximately two years of mining left in the Deer Creek tract. They are accessing the Mill Fork tract with 6,500 feet of main line development through the current Deer Creek tract. They will reevaluate all underground systems and are considering possible future facilities in Rilda Canyon. This is in the scoping and permitting process. The establishment of the Mill Fork tract will add approximately 15 years to the life of Deer Creek Mine. Deer Creek currently produces 4 million tons of coal per year. This production will curtail a little bit with the work involved in opening the new access. However, large stockpiles are already in place at Hunter and Huntington plants and the reduction in production will have no effect on the power plants and other contracts.
Pollastro said they hired 20 new people and have finally exhausted their panels which is the first time this has happened in many years. The current panel and the Utah panels were drawn from and in addition, the company was able to hire some eight people from applications. There were over 200 applicants for the available positions.
"The Mill Fork is an excellent lease and will enhance quality and stability to the mine.
"We are also going from a strip mine to an underground operation in Wyoming and this will help open up some positions in Rock Springs and provide future opportunities. By 2005, Mill Fork will be developed and by 2006 the Bridger underground will be functioning," said Pollastro.
Dull also reported that Bill Landels from PacifiCorp will be retiring and Utah native Richard Walje will take his place beginning on April 1, 2004. She said that Utah Power is currently active on wild and scenic river issues and in trying to find a solution to the Electric Lake problem. They are also definitely concerned with the Gooseberry Reservoir issues and the economic impacts involved.