Dotiki was founded in July of 1967. In September of this year operations in the No. 9 seam ceased. “It was kind of a sad day and happy day at the same time,” Thweat said. “We’re in the middle of a reclamation project there, which is a huge reclamation project that should be done by vacation of next year. All of the big equipment will be brought over (from Hopkins County) and will be brought out the slope and distributed to our other mines.”
For several years miners have been entering Dotiki through an entrance in Nebo, but now they’re entering from Webster County. “We have four super units running in the thirteen seam now,” he said, pointing out a mine map on the wall. “We have ten years permitted and a forty year reserve.” The thirteen seam at Dotiki is very rare because of its height. It is a nine foot seam of coal, meaning miner’s don’t have to stoop when they’re underground. The unusually tall call seam has required some larger equipment. “(We have) a great big continuous miner 12-CM-12 that’s about double the size we’re used to,” Thweat said. “The old shuttle cars held seven tons, the new ones hold twenty.”
In addition to new equipment, Dotiki’s location in Lisman has gotten some new and overhauled buildings as well. The most important of these is the new prep plant. “Our existing prep plant was built in the summer of ‘79,” Thweat said. “Those boys got all the money they could out of that plant! It was a 600-ton-per-hour plant. Our new plant one is a dual 900, for 1,800 tons-per-hour.” They stripped the inside of the old bathhouse and used the existing red metal to construct their 300 foot long bath house. “We used a small footprint to get done what we needed to do,” he said.
In addition to the plant and bath house, the mine also now has a new front office, warehouse and nurses’ station. The nurses’ station especially is a big deal for Dotiki and all Alliance miners as the company’s medical staff treats the worker’s families as well. “You go to which ever mine you live the closest to,” Nurse Sara Todd said. “I have a couple of families from Patiki that come down here to see us, and they’re in Illinois.”
Dotiki now employees 410 people. Most of these are now based at the Webster County location, with only a few left at the reclamation site in Hopkins County. “Something I am very proud of, we have thirteen folks who have been at Dotiki over forty years,” Thweat said. “We have a lot of coal mine knowledge mixed with a lot of young people.”
One major advancement at the new facility is their CO Room. It’s a room filled with computer monitors that display everything going on at the mine. “We can look at a monitor and check our substation statuses, power usage, see how our fans are doing, monitor our staging area, see how our belts are doing and see how our slope car is running,” said Donnie Guess, one of the men taxed with watching these monitors. The system also allows the individual miners and equipment to be tracked within the mine. This means that in an emergency, responders could locate any missing miners in a matter of seconds.
“We’re proud to be back in Webster County,” he said. “We’re a big supporter of our local schools. We’ll try to do the best we can. I just wanted to have everyone out and say that we’re glad to be here.” “Welcome home!” Senator Dorsey Ridley, a Providence Native told Thweat and the other Dotiki miners at the end of the Open House. Dotiki and Sebree Mining LLC (formerly Advent) are owned by Alliance Resource Partners. Alliance is a diversified coal producer and marketer with significant operations in the eastern United States. They have mining operations in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, and Maryland.
J-E News Editor
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