The mine featured in the series is the Cobalt Coal Corp. Westchester Mine in McDowell County, W.Va.

Spike TV Turns the Lens on WV Coal

Reality TV producer Thom Beers goes deep inside Cobalt Coal Corp.'s Westchester Mine with a new series beginning March 30.

Thom Beers, the reality TV producer who made Bering Sea crab fishing into a white-knuckled competitive sport for the entertainment of millions and showed the perils of logging and hauling freight across frozen lakes has found another high-risk locale for his cameras. "Coal," making its debut March 30 on Spike TV, is Beers' series about a small mine in West Virginia and the men who make their living managing it and mining metallurgical coal from its depths.

The mine is Cobalt Coal Corp.'s Westchester Mine in McDowell County, W.Va. Spike TV's website about the series says the series is focused on the more than 40 miners employed there and also Mike Crowder, Cobalt's CEO, and Tom Roberts, the company's president.

The site includes a blog and videos about the series, which it describes this way: "Striking up a partnership while watching their sons practice football, Crowder and Roberts will lead their more than 40 machine operators, foremen, electricians, and drivers into one of the most dangerous workplaces on the planet. Every aspect of the job will be covered, from the dangers behind the super-charged explosions needed to open surface mines, to the well-publicized daily dangers of working in the dark recesses of the earth's crust in a traditional shaft mine. As they face the daily pressure to keep the mine up and running and their workers safe, family men Crowder and Roberts will rely on the support of their loved ones to tackle the mine's daily demands."

Cobalt's home office is in Calgary, Canada, but its operating staff work in a field office in Welch, W.Va. The Westchester Mine and the adjacent Westchester Expansion are its two current projects.

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