Utah Power & Light Co. has agreed to keep East Carbon's Kaiser Mine open until arrangements are made to pay the $150,000-per-month bills to keep the mine from flooding, Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, said.
"It is unfortunate that it has come to this," said Nielson.UP&L's action came after Mellon Bank, which had been paying the power bills and other costs to keep the mine from flooding, decided to pull out of the operation, effective Friday, he said.
"Mellon Bank's decision has forced the bankruptcy court to act and hopefully we will have a new owner of the mine within 30 days," Nielson said in a prepared statement. "We are anticipating swift action."
He said the power company's decision will help keep the mine open long enough to give potential buyers time to appear before the court this week and submit bids.
"The Kaiser bankruptcy has been a real tragedy for the East Carbon area and the ordeal has gone on much too long," Nielson said. "I am grateful that people are now stepping in and taking measures to put the mine back in business and that fine corporate citizens such as Utah Power & Light are concerned with putting people back to work."