Codero Rojo receives accolades for river restoration

CLOUD Peak Energy’s Cordero Rojo coal mine in Wyoming has received the state’s 2015 reclamation award from the department of environmental quality for the successful restoration of the Belle Fourche River.

Lou Caruana

The award was presented at the Wyoming Mining Association’s annual safety and reclamation banquet in Cody, Wyoming.

Through design and reconstruction, the Cordero Rojo Mine relocated a portion of the Belle Fourche River and reclaimed the stream channel to provide about the same conditions as pre-mining.

The reclaimed stream channel is stable from erosion with abundant grass cover, and the aquatic life has been established with macro invertebrates and invertebrates.

These reclamation efforts demonstrate Cloud Peak Energy’s commitment to environmental stewardship, according to Cloud Peak CEO Colin Marshall.

“Reclamation is a critical part of the mining process, and this award recognises the successful work of all our employees at the Cordero Rojo mine,” he said.

“We will continue to return the land to a condition that is as good as or better than before mining began.”

Moving and returning the Belle Fourche River was a major project for the Cloud Peak Energy team, requiring significant planning and execution, Cordero Rojo general manager Joe Vaccari said.

“Its completion highlights our commitment to reclamation and environmental stewardship across the mine,” he said.