MT coal mine among most productive in the world

 Post By: MTN News

ROUNDUP - Not many people believed Montana Governor Judy Martz back in 2001, when she traveled to Roundup to announce a new era in local coal mining.

Her vision of a new state-of-the-art coal mine, railroad, and power plant had plenty of skeptics - after all, they had heard it before.

Fast forward now to 2014, and there's no question a new era in Roundup coal mining has arrived.

The new Signal Peak Mine - located 17 miles south of Roundup in Montana's Bull Mountains - is state-of-the art, and $500 million has been invested since 2009.

A new management team came on board in mid-2010, and ever since, this Montana mine has been turning heads industry-wide.

Unlike any other mine in Montana, Signal Peak is what's called a longwall mine. It utilizes an amazing piece of underground machinery, known as a longwall, which endlessly churns away at the coal seam.

Signal Peak CEO & President Brad Hanson is a fourth generation coal miner.

Twice, Signal Peak officials tried to lure him away from his native Colorado. The second time, he agreed, and brought with him more than 20 of his top assistants.

Today, Signal Peak's mine near Roundup is considered one of the most productive in the country and the world.

Signal Peak produced 12.1 million tons of raw coal in 2013 and once all the rocks and dirt are filtered out, that figure shrinks to 8.7 million tons per year.

That final clean product is then loaded into rail cars and sent down a spur line 29 miles to Broadview, eventually onto BNSF's main line, headed for destinations on both the east and west coasts.

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