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US federal agencies honour top mine safety, environmental and technology leaders

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World Coal,

Officials from the National Mining Association (NMA), the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the US Department of the Interior's Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), have gathered to honour top safety, environmental and technology leaders in the mining industry.


NMA's Sentinels of Safety Award recognises coal and mineral mining operations in 20 categories for recording the most hours in a calendar year without a single lost-time injury. A minimum of 4000 hours is required for award consideration. The award categories reflect the safety accomplishments of both small and large mines.

Twenty American mining operations – six coal mines and 14 mineral/metal mines – were honoured with the award recognising performance in 2016.


"2016 was the safest year in mining's history," said Hal Quinn, NMA president and CEO. "These awards are an important reminder that modern mining has made great strides to ensure the safety of all of our miners and, to continue this progress, our vigilance is required through each and every shift."

Recipients include:

Large Group

  • Coal Processing Facility: Ceredo Dock – Kanawha River Terminals LLC.
  • Dredge: Briggs Plant – Fordyce Holdings, Inc.
  • Metal Nonmetal Mill: Barrick Cortez – Barrick Gold Corp.
  • Open Pit: South Arturo Mine – Barrick Gold Corp.
  • Surface Coal: Freedom Mine – North American Coal.
  • Underground Coal: Bull Mountains Mine No. 1 – Signal Peak Energy LLC.
  • Underground Metal: Barrick Cortez Underground – Barrick Gold Corp.
  • Underground Nonmetal: Cargill Salt Group, Cleveland – Cargill Inc.
  • Bank or Pit: Murphy Plant – Fordyce Holdings Inc.
  • Quarry: St. Genevieve Facility – Tower Rock Stone Co.

Small Group

  • Bank or Pit: Loveland Ready-Mix Concrete – Loveland Ready-Mix Concrete.
  • Coal Processing Facility: Midway Coal Handling Facility – Armstrong Coal Co. Inc.
  • Dredge: Portage Aggregate & Supply LLC.
  • Metal Nonmetal Mill: Curtin Gap Quarry – Hanson Aggregates Pennsylvania LLC.
  • Open Pit: Siderite Mine – Sidco Minerals Inc.
  • Quarry: Walker Stone – Walker Stone.
  • Surface Coal: Three Mile Mine #1 – CAM Mining LLC.
  • Underground Coal: Coon Cedar Grove Mine – Marfork Coal Co. LLC.
  • Underground Metal: Buick Mine/Mill – The Doe Run Co.
  • Underground Nonmetal: Decker's Creek Limestone Co – Decker's Creek Limestone Co.

Environmental, Reclamation and Community Contributions

Five US coal and hard-rock mining companies won awards from the US Department of the Interior for their outstanding environmental performance, mine reclamation accomplishments and community outreach programs.


"NMA is grateful to the Department of the Interior for showcasing how modern mining practices are protecting the environment while producing the minerals and energy Americans need," said NMA's Quinn. "We are especially proud of the five NMA members recognised for their exceptional environmental performance and commitment to the communities in which they work."

OSMRE 2017 winners include:

  • National Award: Coal Mac, LLC (Arch Coal) Pine Creek 2 Surface Mine, Omar, West Virginia.
  • National Award: Cloud Peak Energy Spring Creek Mine, Decker, Montana.
  • Good Neighbour Award: Thunder Basin Grasslands Prairie Ecosystem Association (the award lists five current or former association members: Arch Coal, Cloud Peak Energy, Contura Energy, Kiewit Mining Group and Peabody).

BLM 2017 winners include:

  • Hard-rock Mineral Environmental Award: Teck American Inc.
  • "Fix a Shaft Today": Havasu 4 Wheelers.
  • Hardrock Mineral Small Operator Award: Tertiary Minerals, US Inc.
  • Hardrock Mineral Small Operator Award: XII Caesars Gold LLC.



In addition, NIOSH awarded Mine Safety and Health Technology Innovations Awards, which recognise the significant advancements in mining technology by the mining industry that have made mining both safer and more productive.

"This year's NIOSH awardees – all of whom are NMA members – are prime examples of modern mining's highly innovative culture that constantly applies technological advancements to achieve production, safety and environmental objectives," said NMA's Quinn. "We applaud their efforts and leadership in this important area."

Freeport-McMoRan, Kinross Gold and Peabody were all recognised for 2017.

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