Mining in the Litchfield Quadrangle
The area around Litchfield presents challenges for anyone wishing to mine coal. The Walshville channel, contemporaneous with Herrin Coal deposition, renders most of the southeastern third of the quadrangle lacking in the Herrin Coal. The remainder of the quadrangle has Herrin Coal, which is split and has unfavorable roof conditions. The Springfield Coal is less than 28 inches thick over the entire quadrangle. Therefore, mining in the Litchfield Quadrangle had to take advantage of seams that are less known in character and extent, the Lowell and Litchfield Coals. Because these coals are deeper than the other coals of the region, they are more expensive to mine. The Lowell Coal was 500 to 540 feet deep and the Litchfield Coal was over 650 feet deep. Both varied in thickness, the Lowell generally between 3.5 to 4.5 feet thick, and the Litchfield ranging up to 6 feet thick. However, neither coal had the large extent of thick coals that the Staunton-to-Carlinville area of Macoupin County encountered.
In spite of these conditions, both mines in the Litchfield Quadrangle operated for over 15 years. The mine under the northwest part of the town, mine index 714, operated in both seams. Mining began in the Lowell Coal, but rolls with thin coal, a sandstone parting, and boney coal near the bottom of the seam caused difficulties with profitable mining. The shaft was deepened and the Litchfield Coal was mined. Difficulties soon arose with the lower seam as well. The coal was eroded to the west, and thinned to the east and north. In addition, the coal dipped to the east to an adverse grade for mining. When this mine re-opened in 1920, another attempt was made to mine the Lowell Coal, but the mine closed after 5 years. The mine to the southeast of the town of Litchfield operated in the Lowell Coal. Geologic problems encountered by this company are unknown.
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Mines that Appear on the Litchfield Quadrangle
Pages in category "Litchfield Quadrangle"
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