Mine Shields LLC, a new start-up company that will produce mine refuge chambers, has announced plans to establish operations in Lancaster, creating at least 35 new full-time jobs.
Mine Shields will produce a mine refuge chamber that will have the capacity to secure the comfort and survival of miners for no less than 96 hours. The unit is formed of one-quarter gauge steel throughout and is designed for underground application in non-caustic environments.
Mine Shields CEO Connie Hendren said the company is the only manufacturer of metal refuge chambers in Kentucky and one of only five in the United States.
The company will establish two production lines at its 60,000-s.f. Lancaster plant and anticipates it will produce 500 units annually. The 35 new jobs, which are expected to be filled within six months of operation, are estimated to have an average hourly wage of more than $16 an hour, including benefits.
Gov. Steve Beshear noted that mining tragedies like the one last month in West Virginia – the worst such accident in more than 25 years – deepen the resolve to make sure miners are kept safe.
“The mine refuge chambers that Mine Shields will produce are uniquely designed to save lives underground,” Beshear said. “This announcement is a huge step forward for our miners.”