Friday, October 12 2012, 08:03 PM MDT
Could Crandall Canyon Mine Reopen?
(KUTV) Five years ago six miners and three rescuers lost their lives the tragic Crandall Canyon mine disaster- and now, there is talk that the Crandall Canyon mine may reopen.
Murray Energy Corporation said, in a statement, that they have no current plans whatsoever to re-open the Crandall Canyon Mine. Yet, they continue to pay their lease of $3 per acre, a payment that has the Bureau of Land Management saying that they believe the mine will eventually open again.
"The company has not called up and given us a definite date of when they are going to open the mine,” said Roger Bankert, the BLM Mineral Support Supervisor. “But you believe they will open back up? I believe they will open back up based on they are paying rental."
According to the law, Murray Energy has every right to start mining again. Their permit allows them to do so.
But, Jim Springer with the Utah Division of Oil Gas and Mining says he doesn't believe they will open up. His reason: the deaths and it would not be cost effective.
"The expense of going back into the mountain and the amount of roof work that would be required and for the amount of resources present in the mountain would make it probably unlikely that a company would do that,” said Springer
Attorney Allan Mortensen called it a slap in the face for families of the victims.
Mortensen represents 8 of the 9 families who lost loved ones.
"Bob Murray promised that he is never coming back and this mine was going to remain closed as a memorial and a cemetery," Mortensen said.
In an official statement, Murray Energy said, "Although we do maintain control of the coal reserves, there are no current plans whatsoever to re-open the Crandall Canyon Mine, nor is it even under consideration. Beyond that we have no further comments."
The statement came from Rob Murray, son of Bob Murray, who became the face of Crandall Canyon Mine in 2007.
The company would not say why they continue to pay the lease – which lasts another 15 years.
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)