The Bureau of Mines in cooperation with Jim Walter Resources, Inc. (JWR), Brookwood, Alabama, evaluated the use of sheathed explosive charges in breaking up large stones that can jam the feeder-breaker or pan conveyor on longwalls and halt operations. Use of the sheathed charge reduced the downtime of the longwall panel to 15 or 30 min as compared with the 1 to 2 h required to drill and shoot the stone. Firing the sheathed charge at the face caused no significant damage to longwall equipment. Use of the sheathed charge also represented an improvement in safety by eliminating the exposure of miners to the inherent hazards of the face for extended periods of time. Another benefit, which is difficult to quantify, is the elimination of the temptation to shoot mudcaps or adobes, which is illegal in U.S. underground coal mines.