November 3, 2023 - Tom Moran and Ben Gardner of Corsa Coal were guests at the most recent meeting of the Grantsville Town Council in West Virginia on Monday evening.
“We were asked to come and give an update of where we are on the Casselman Mine, which is just a little bit south of here,” Moran said.
Ben Gardner of Corsa Coal answers questions about the Casselman Mine at Monday’s meeting of the Grantsville Town Council.
Pictured from left: Councilman George Edwards, Brad Maust, Ben Gardner, Tom Moran, Mike McCloskey and Mark Diehl.
Gardner, who is the chief of engineering, stated that the entrance is off Durst Road, with mining to the south and east side of the Casselman River.
“Within the last year, we did cross under the Casselman River again and are coming north, kind of along the 495 route up towards Grantsville,” he said. “So originally, we permitted a new opening for the mine, but we were able to not have to do that. Lots of construction would happen there, so we were able to avoid that by going under the river and everything’s going along really well there. So, within the next year or two, we’ll be coming up towards the Industrial Park, kind of paralleling the river.”
He explained that the mining process is room and pillar.
“We’re not removing the extra coal, so there’s always coal supporting the roof where we mine,” Gardner said. “You can basically go anywhere in the mine where we’ve already opened the coal up unless we’ve sealed it off, but everything stays supported. It’s not like long wall mining where they extract all the coal and they subside the surface, especially at the depths we’re looking at here — 500 or 600 feet — it’s pretty significant. We’re mining if we’re lucky 42 inches high. We always tell people who are interested in going into the coal mines … if you’re comfortable crawling under the tables all day long, that’s what it’s like in a mine.”
He stated that there is not a lot of sinking and everything stays intact when the mining is done.
Currently, there are about 100 employees for the mine, with hopes to get the numbers to 120 or 125.
Moran explained that the mine is only for metallurgical coal.
“That coal is made for steel making,” he said. “Anything and everything we sell goes for steel making.”