DUBOIS COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) – When White Stallion Energy filed for bankruptcy in December of 2020, the Shamrock Mine in Dubois County was shut down immediately. Since then, the view: unchanged. Equipment: unmoved. And area roads: unusable.
“When you’ve got a big operation like this and they file for bankruptcy,” says Dubois County Highway Department Superintendent Steve Berg, “you’re talking about a lot of time, don’t know how things are going to turn out, so we’ve got some road bonds that can help put some of these roads back in place again.”
Berg says one road in particular, County Road 750 West, is a loss. The road began to cave in prior to the mine’s closure. Original plans called for the pit to be filled and the mine to continue north across Portersville Road West. Now, Berg says stone will have to be laid to save the land.
“We do have the old haul road, 700 West, which is going to get put back, so we do have a north-south throughway, because that’s what 750 here was as well,” explains Berg.
County Road 700 West was widened so mining trucks could pass through. An agreement indicated the road would be returned to its original state. But work cannot begin on the reclamation project until the Department of Natural Resources approves it.
“They are going to provide a cul-de-sac for traffic to turn around on that end,” says Berg, “700 will obviously re-open to our normal road standards.”
While there is currently no timeline on the completion of the reclamation project, Berg is hoping for sooner rather than later in hopes to save as much of the crumbling land as possible.
“Obviously we would have started sooner than this because we’ve got good dirt weather right now,” explains Berg. “But to have it done before Fall again, we don’t want to get into another Winter and allow additional issues to happen here. Until a plan comes in, it’s really hard to say.”
Berg says bonds should cover repair costs, however the exact total will not be known until a plan is finalized. Road bonds do not include filling the pits, that cost will be determined by DNR.