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“Reorganizing the pit so that there is less machinery movement and increased efficiency became a priority.The results speak for themselves, but we’re not completely satisfied.It’s a work in progress.” The group changed some conventions that dated back to Decker Coal Company’s origination in 1972.
The new plan will need approval at Tuesday's board meeting, according to Santee Cooper spokesperson Mollie Gore.
"We're looking to modernize and move to a greener energy resource mix," Gore told Utility Dive.
Right away, they, along with additional key personnel such as Engineering Manager Matt Guptill and Maintenance Manager Russ Noble began strategizing how to increase tonnage at the Decker, Mont., mine.
“Everything was assessed – our practices to uncover the coal seams, haul distances and more,” recalled Griffith, who built a scale model of the mine’s new layout in Decker’s office/shop and uses it for training purposes.
Decker Coal Company moves materials with mining trucks, including four, 240-ton-capacity Komatsu 830E-1AC electric drives.
“The drivers all love the trucks, especially the ride and how easy they are to operate,” said Coal Manager Sean Mc Eachern.
For now, that’s primarily accomplished with draglines.
Coal goes to a preparation plant where it is crushed to approximately two inches in size before being conveyed into storage silos.
The final product leaves the mine for its next destination via a unit train made up of 110 to 125 cars, each containing roughly 100 tons of coal.
“The mine is located at the fringe of the Powder River Basin, and the thermal coal is higher quality than you normally find in that area,” said Wolff.