Dragline dedication at the Freedom Mine

The Freedom Mine’s third Bucyrus Erie 2570W dragline was celebrated in a dedication ceremony and was christened May 17. The dragline was purchased from CONSOL Energy near Pinckneyville, IL, in 2003, and years later disassembled and transported to the assembly site near Beulah, ND.

The dragline is needed to handle the increased overburden depth at the mine; in other words, there is more dirt covering the coal in the area to be mined next.

Dakota Coal Company Chief Operating Officer Bob Bartosh told the story of how he was hired to design and construct the assembly site in Illinois for the same dragline in 1976. He said it shows how tight-knit the mining community is across the country, because the same dragline was assembled for Freedom Mine 30 years later. “I’m very proud of the work that’s been done, from the procurement, disassembly and transport from Illinois, to the construction and paint scheme here. Our folks have accomplished a great milestone, and have done so safely.”

Watch more from the dedication.

Following the dedication, guests got a chance to tour the dragline.

Freedoms Frontier

Visitors take a tour through the inner workings of the dragline.

Freedoms Frontier

Reuben Ritthaler, chairman of the Dakota Coal Company board of directors, takes a spin in the operator’s seat.

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