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WV mines recognised for safety

CONSOL Energy, Eastern Corporation, Massey Energy, International Coal Group and Brook Run were just some of the companies to take out prizes at this year’s West Virginia safety awards.

Donna Schmidt
WV mines recognised for safety

The awards were presented at the 26th annual West Virginia State Council of the Joseph A. Holmes Association.

In the underground category, mines were classified by total annual tonnage.

Taking the honour in the division with 5 million tons per annum or more was Consol Energy’s Blacksville No. 2 operation, and in the 3-4Mtpa category, the winner was Eastern Associated’s Federal No. 2.

ICG’s Wolf Run Mining Imperial mine was tops in safety in the 2-3Mtpa classification. In the 1-2Mtpa range, the honour went to Brooks Run Mining’s Poplar Ridge No. 1 operation.

Two winners were chosen in each of the final three divisions for underground mines. In the division of 500,001tpa to 1Mtpa, Brooks Run Mining’s Cucumber mine and Massey Energy’s Elk Run Coal Castle complex were highlighted.

Producing 300,001-500,000tpa, the safest in the West Virginia region were Laurel Creek Coal’s No. 1 mine and Brooks Run Mining’s Mine No. 5. Finally, Pocahontas Coal’s Josephine No. 2 operation and Massey’s Aracoma Coal Henshaw mine were tops in the 100,001-300,000tpa class.

There were also 12 West Virginia preparation plants chosen to receive Holmes safety awards from the council. They were: Brooks Run Mining’s Erbacon plant, Fola Coal’s Peach Orchard, ICG’s Birch River, ICG Beckley’s Beckley Pocahontas facility, ICG Wolf Run Mining’s Sawmill Run, Kingston Resources’ Kingston Processing, Litwar Processing’s Litwar facility, Maple Coal’s Maple plant, Mingo Logan Coal’s Cardinal plant, Patriot Coal’s Harris plant; Pine Ridge Coal’s Big Mountain facility, and Rockspring Development’s Camp Creek plant.

The council bestowed safety awards to surface facilities in the state as well, classified in a similar manner to their underground counterparts. Taking the honour in the top classification, 3-4Mtpa, was the ICG Eastern Birch River complex, and two mines were chosen in the 2-3Mtpa class – Hobet Mining’s West Ridge surface property and Phoenix Coal-Mac Mining’s Phoenix Surface No. 4.

In the 1-2Mtpa division, Simmons Fork Mining’s Ewing Fork No. 1 was chosen to receive the state safety award. Both the Premium Energy Surface Mine No. 2 and the Phoenix Coal-Mac Mining Holden No. 22 operation were tops in the 500,000tpa to 1Mtpa sector.

Finally, two open pit complexes earned the council’s Holmes award in the division producing 300,001-500,000tpa. They were Atlantic Leasco’s King Coal No.1 surface mine and the Crosscreek complex owned by Oxford Mining.

Also at the annual conference, held on May 1-2 at the Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, West Virginia, the US Mine Safety and Health Administration announced its 2008 Pacesetter Award winners in the agency’s District 4 region. That region includes several counties in West Virginia’s southernmost tip and is where a significant percentage of the state’s coal is located.

In the underground division, employing 101 or more employees, Elk Run Coal’s Castle mine was chosen for its performance in the last calendar year. For mines employing 31-50 workers, the winner was Brooks Run Mining’s No. 5 operation.

With a staff of 31-50, Argus Energy WV Deep Mine No. 7 was recognised, as was XMV’s Mine No. 36, with a payroll of 21-30 people.

Finally, the smallest of the region’s operations were recognised for their safety. In the 11-20 employee group was Rock N Roll Coal’s Mine No. 3, and the Blue Haven Energy No. 5 complex was selected in the division of 1-10 workers.

The properties selected by MSHA for Pacesetters in the surface/auger and surface facility classes were:

Eagle Ridge Development Group – McMillion Creek Mine No. 4 (S/A 1-10 employees),

Maple Coal – Huffman surface mine No. 1 and Sycamore surface mine (S/A 11-25 employees),

Fola Coal – surface mine No. 2 (S/A with 26 or more employees),

Argus Energy WV – Wayne County Terminal (1-10 employee facility),

Cobra Natural Resources – Black Bear preparation plant (11-25 employee facility), and

Elk Run Coal – Chess Processing (facility of 26 or more).

No dates have been given for the 2010 annual West Virginia Council conference. The 2009 Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association National Meeting is scheduled for June 2-4 at the Hilton Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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