Fire destroys Gilsonite mine processing plant in Bonanza
Geoff Liesik, For the Deseret News
BONANZA, Uintah County — An early morning fire destroyed one of two American Gilsonite Co. processing plants Wednesday.
The fire began about 12:30 a.m., according to Uintah Fire District Executive Director Jeremy Raymond. It was unknown whether the plant was in operation at the time, but there were American Gilsonite employees in the area.
Stuart Green, chief operating officer and senior vice president for American Gilsonite's Bonanza mining operations, said no one was injured in the blaze.
"We're very happy about that," Green said.
It took firefighters from Jensen, Naples and Vernal more than eight hours to extinguish the fire out.
Investigators with the Bureau of Land Management were in Bonanza Wednesday and officials with the federal Mining Safety and Health Administration were expected to arrive later. The Utah State Fire Marshal's Office is also expected to send an investigator to the scene, which is about 40 miles south of Vernal.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Raymond said.
Gilsonite is a unique industrial mineral found only in eastern Utah, according to American Gilsonite's corporate website.
The company and its predecessors have been providing Gilsonite products and services since 1888. The glossy black, solid hydrocarbon resin, which is similar in appearance to coal, was first discovered in 1860 by Samuel H. Gilson.
Gilsonite is used in the manufacture of acid, alkali, and waterproof coatings.
- Census: Utah has youngest newlyweds, high...
- Man fighting for custody of daughter may get...
- Police identify body found on Ben Lomond...
- Feds: Utah companies accused of conducting...
- 13 of the best 'No Shave November' mustaches...
- Police open homicide investigation after man...
- S.L. Comic Con founders report progress in...
- 5 Utah E. coli cases linked to Costco chicken...
- 200 gather at Utah Capitol in support... 43
- U. professor, students call on SCOTUS... 29
- Carson tops new poll of Utah voters 28
- Anatomy of a trip: The Utah-Switzerland... 22
- Former Gov. Leavitt warns action needed... 19
- Census: Utah has youngest newlyweds,... 16
- Longtime Salt Lake County Councilman... 15
- Terrorism propaganda assignment causes... 15