PRESTONSBURG — The Kentucky Department for Natural Resources (DNR) and the Kentucky Coal Association (KCA) jointly presented awards to local companies for exemplary mine safety or outstanding reclamation practices on coal mining operations. Reclamation award recipients’ operations were located in the Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement’s Pikeville and Prestonsburg regional areas. The Mine Safety Awards were presented to surface and underground mining operations located in the Hazard, Martin and Pikeville districts.
Steve Hohmann, DNR Commissioner, and Bill Bissett, Ed. D., KCA President, presented the award for Excellence in Reclamation in the Pikeville Regional Area to Premier Elkhorn Coal Company (permit # 898 – 0682 for its 1,158-acre surface coal mining operation located near the community of Esco in Pike County. The site is being successfully reclaimed by the company to the post mining land use of commercial forestland and fish and wildlife habitat. Mining and reclamation on this site was conducted in a manner that will provide long-term benefits to the community and local wildlife.
The Excellence in Reclamation Award in the Prestonsburg Regional Area was presented to Middle Fork Development Services No. 2, LLC (permit # 877 – 0220) for its 265-acre surface mining operation located near the community of Fritz in Magoffin County. The site is being successfully reclaimed to post mining land uses that included pastureland and forestland. What made this site so exceptional has been the company’s partnership with the University of Kentucky, and others, to design and install state-of-the-art sediment control structures (weep berms) via a federally approved experimental practice that would provide enhanced water quality controls on the permit area. This practice incorporated techniques that passively treat water and sediment during the active mining and reclamation phase and facilitated the establishment of healthy forestland using the Forest Reclamation Approach (FRA)
The awards for exceptional mine safety in the Hazard District went to Blue Diamond Mining, LLC for its #77 underground mine and the B & W Resources, Inc. for its Chavies Job 7 surface mining operation. The Blue Diamond deep mine operation had an annual production of 233,000 tons, and employed 46 miners that worked a total of 424 shifts. They worked a total of 116,354 man hours with no reportable accidents during the year. B & W Resources’ Job 7 mine had an annual production of 257,300 tons and employed 29 miners on two shifts. The site had no reportable accidents during the year.
The awards for exceptional mine safety in the Martin District went to Eagle Coal Company’s No. 25 underground mine and Blackhawk Mining’s Blackhawk #1 surface mining operation. Eagle Coal’s No. 25 deep mine operation had an annual production in excess of 356,600 tons and employed 42 miners working three shifts. They worked a total of 165,657 man hours with only one reportable accident. The Blackhawk #1 surface mine had an annual production of 188,870 tons and employed 14 miners on two shifts. They had no reportable accidents during the year.
The awards for exceptional mine safety in the Pikeville District went to C.S. & S. Coal Corp.’s Center Creek underground mine and P.I.A. Company, Inc.’s #8 surface mining operation. The Center Creek deep mine operation had an annual production in excess of 88,000 tons and employed 17 miners who worked a total of 276 shifts for the year. They worked a total of 43,950 man hours and had no reportable accidents during that time. The #8 surface mine had an annual production of 178,800 tons and employed 18 miners who worked a total of 154 shifts for the year. They had no reportable accidents during the period.
The awards event was held at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park.