Peabody's Wildcat Hills mine remains idled after last week's fatality

Louisville, Kentucky (Platts)--8 Jul 2013 446 pm EDT/2046 GMT

Peabody Energy's Wildcat Hills underground steam coal mine in southern Illinois remained idle Monday in the aftermath of a mine fatality last week.

The US Mine Safety and Health Administration has not lifted a closure order against the mine because an investigation continues into the July 2 accident that killed 35-year-old Nathan Clarida of Galatia, Illinois, said Amy Louviere, spokeswoman for the federal agency.

According to MSHA, Clarida was killed when he was struck by a ram car being trammed through a ventilation curtain. Clarida was the 10th coal miner to die in the US in 2013.

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Late last week, St. Louis-based Peabody submitted an accident prevention plan for Wildcat Hills to MSHA for review. Typically, MSHA does not erase closure orders until such plans have been evaluated and approved.

It was unclear Monday when Wildcat Hills will be allowed to resume production. Peabody officials could not be reached for comment.

Wildcat Hills, operated by Peabody Midwest Mining, a Peabody affiliate, is a moderate coal producer in Illinois' high-sulfur coalfield. The mine produced 1.45 million st of coal in 2012, MSHA figures show, and turned out 389,318 st in the first quarter this year. The mine has about 200 employees.

--Bob Matyi,  
--Edited by Lisa Miller,

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