Signal Peak Begins Production in the U.S

The first fully-loaded BNSF train rolls out of the Signal Peak mine in Montana. (Photographer: Clarke Sutphin)
Developers of a reactivated mine in southcentral Montana started shipping coal during early September to Midwestern power plants along a new 35-mile rail line, according to the Associated Press. The Signal Peak mine south of Roundup has undergone a $400-million expansion over the past year under the ownership of two Ohio companies, Boich Group and FirstEnergy.

On September 3, 2009, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer joined mining executives and Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad Chief Executive Matt Rose to dedicate a rail station that connects to the new rail line at Broadview. The station was named after Walter Breuning of Great Falls, the world’s oldest man who turned 113 and for five decades worked for BNSF’s predecessor, Great Northern Railway.

According to the mine’s developers, Signal Peak represents a long-term investment that already has a guaranteed customer in four power plants operated by FirstEnergy. The longwall equipment now being installed at the mine will increase its output to 12 to 15 million tons annually within the next 12 to 18 months, said Wayne Boich, Jr., of Boich Group.

As featured in Womp 2009 Vol 08 -