Rep. Jim Matheson discusses issues related to mining with company officials at Skyline Mine. The lawmaker and members of his staff toured the mining facility, which closed for a short period in 2004.
Mining operations have resumed and with contracts being established, company officials expect production to again reach the levels it did in the late 90s when the mine was in full swing. Skyline is one of three mines operated by Canyon Fuel Company, one of the states leading coal producers. Other company operations include Dugout Canyon Mine and Sufco Canyon Mine. Most of the coal produced at the three mines is used locally for power generation.
One of the concerns brought up between company officials and Matheson is that an estimated 65 percent of the state's coal reserves is tied up in the Kaiparowits Plateau, under the Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument. As mining exhausts resources in other parts of the states, mining companies look to the Kaiparowits as one possibility to keep jobs and energy revenue flowing within the state.