In safety, CONSOL's Coal Division saw a reduced number of exceptions quarter-over-quarter from 30 in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 36 in the same quarter of 2012. The Miller Creek complex was awarded seven Sentinels of Safety awards, and the McElroy Mine received the most prestigious safety award given by the state of West Virginia, "The Eustace Frederick Milestones of Safety Award." Also, the Loveridge Mine received a "Mountaineer Guardian Safety Award."
Even though CONSOL continues to reach important milestones and demonstrates continuous improvement in overall safety performance, the Company has still had serious accidents. As a result, CONSOL has made an effort to refocus the Company on its number one core value – safety.
Highlighting CONSOL's greatest asset, its employees, J. Brett Harvey has urged everyone in the Company to rededicate themselves to the journey of Absolute Zero stating, "Here's what the journey means – it means that we're on a path where loved ones won't have to answer that call, and children won't have to ask why; a journey where we can come to work every day, work safely and productively and go home at night to our families. To a fourth generation miner myself, that's a journey worth all of us taking." A video detailing Mr. Harvey's remarks can be viewed at: http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/irol/66/66439/HarveySeverity2013WEB960.540.mp4
As referenced above, CONSOL's Blacksville No. 2 Mine was idled as a result of a fire that started on March 12, 2013. All employees were safely evacuated following the detection of smoke exiting the Orndoff shaft. The fire has since been extinguished as of March 24, 2013, and the first mine rescue teams entered the mine on March 27, 2013. Blacksville No. 2 Mine produces approximately 400,000 tons of coal per month under normal operating conditions, and it is still unknown when production will restart. Despite the unplanned idling of Blacksville, quarterly production exceeded forecasts.The Bailey Preparation Plant has successfully finished, and put into service, the plant 1A upgrade, which will serve the BMX Mine. It is the last of the 5 plant modules to be upgraded; and with the process improvements, the Bailey Plant can now efficiently process 8,200 tons per hour (tph) of plant feed, compared to 6,300 tph previously. The only work that still needs to be completed on the project is the construction of the new 155-foot diameter refuse thickener and the remodeling of the plant operator control room. In addition, Shoemaker Mine has completed the 1 South project, which is located on the western end of the mine. The project upgraded nine seals to 120 psi.