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OSMRE recognises coal operators with 2021 ‘Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Awards’

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World Coal,

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) has recognised Luminant Mining Company, LLC of Mount Pleasant, Texas, and North American Coal Corporation, Mississippi Lignite Company, of Ackerman, Mississippi, as the winners of its 2021 ‘Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Awards’ during a live virtual presentation on 13 October 2021.

The ‘Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Awards’ are presented to coal mining companies whose reclamation projects demonstrate exemplary results and go beyond the reclamation requirements of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) of 1977 in returning a site to productive use after completion of mining. Past award recipients demonstrated a commitment to sound mining practices and effective reclamation plans that enhanced the post-mining use of the land.

OSMRE’s ‘Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Awards’ recognise mine operators in two award categories: the National Award and the Good Neighbor Award.

National Award

This award is presented to a coal mining company for achieving the most exemplary mine reclamation in the country. A coal mining operation may be nominated for achievement in a specific aspect of the reclamation, such as the design and implementation of sedimentation control practices, or for its overall performance in meeting the goals of SMCRA.

This year’s awardee is:

Luminant Mining Company, LLC

Monticello-Winfield Mine

Mount Pleasant, Texas

Luminant was nominated for outstanding mining and reclamation practices that have produced diverse post-mining land uses exceeding pre-mining conditions. Mining activities near Mount Pleasant, Texas, began in 1974 at the Monticello–Winfield Mine and continued until 2015. Over that time, the operation mined more than 15 500 acres. The nomination focused on an area called H-area, where the last 418 acres were approved for Phase III Bond release on 23 September 2020. Luminant reclaimed 2438 acres in the H-area; the reclaimed acreage includes post–mine land use for pastureland, forestry, fish and wildlife habitat, and developed water resources.

Good Neighbor Awards

Mine operators are selected to receive Good Neighbor Awards for successfully working with the surrounding landowners and the community while completing mining and reclamation.

This year’s awardee is:

North American Coal Corporation, Mississippi Lignite Company

Red Hills Mine

Ackerman, Mississippi

North American Coal was nominated for its superior community outreach, education, and contribution. The Red Hills Mine (RHM) in Choctaw County, Mississippi, began development in 1998. Recognising the forestry industry as important to the local economy, the company has permitted 68% of its 4678 acres as forestry post-mining land use. To date, 867 056 trees have been planted on the mine. The company has hosted annual Arbor Day events since 2009 with fourth graders from Choctaw County and gifted a hardwood tree seedling to each child to take home and plant in their community. RHM also partners with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to sponsor an annual poster event that educates the students about environmental topics such as watersheds, soils, trees, and pollinators.

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