America West Resources laid off 53 workers at its Horizon Mine in Consumers Canyon Friday.
Chief Executive Officer Dan Baker explained that the layoff was necessary because one unit of the mine encountered a fault that blocked continued access to coal. A fault is a weak spot in underground strata where sections of rock move up or down over long periods of time.It poses problems for mining because a coal seam can end in a dead end of sandstone or limestone as a result of the shifts.
The layoff will be temporary, Baker said.
It should take about six months to develop another section to resume full employment levels again.
The layoff affects slightly more than a third of the mine workforce. The mine is still producing coal and will be able to deliver to its customers, Baker said.