From September 1978 to December 1983, ESD Corp. (Formerly a division of FMC Corp.) undertook the development and testing of a bidirectional auger under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy. Later, responsibility for the program to which the research relates was transferred to the U.S. Bureau of Mines, and the report was accordingly made public by the Bureau. Underground testing began in August 1981 at Peabody Coal Company's Marissa Mine near Marissa, Illinois. The auger was developed to increase mine production and coal recovery without increasing land subsidence. It bored 4-ft- diam by 10-ft-deep holes into pillars on 7-ft centers (each hole recovering 5 tons). All operating during this test was performed by maintenance personnel with the goal of finding ways to increase the machine potential. The maximum excavation rate achieved was 1.4 Tons per minute. It was concluded that the concept of drilling short holes to extract coal from underground pillars without surface subsidence was practicable with a wheel-mounted auger, but that more power was desirable for this mine, and that the hydraulically driven augering system that provided experimental versatility was not sufficiently reliable for production use.