Several coal operations in Virginia were recently recognized by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) for achieving record safety years in 2013.
The awards were presented on behalf of the Virginia Mine Safety Board for coal mines and the Virginia Transportation and Construction Alliance for mineral mines.
The coal properties honored included SunCoke Energy Dominion No. 7 (182,342 employee hours, Large Underground Coal Mine award); Paramont Coal Company Virginia’s Deep Mine 37 (173,903 hours, Large Underground Coal Mine); AB&J Coal Company’s Mine No.6 (43,378 hours, Medium Underground Coal Mine); Black Diamond Coal Company’s Mine No. 1 (24,118 hours, Small Underground Coal Mine); Extra Energy’s Virginia Point No. 1 surface mine (245,396 hours, Large Surface Coal Mine); Twin Star Mining’s Lower Elk Creek (35,941 hours, Medium Surface Coal Mine); and Dominion Coal Corporation’s Dominion Central Shop (22,877 hours, Small Surface Coal Mine).
Winning mineral facilities included Lhoist North America’s Kimballton Plant No. 1 (176,700 employee hours, Quarry award) and the William G. Lilley – Lilley Pit (4,959 hours, Open Pit).
The DMME said that, for the first time, all miners that were involved with its Small Mine Safety Service (SMSS) program earned awards (AB&J and Black Diamond). The SMSS program, which has secured $270,000 from the state’s general assembly to continue operations, is a voluntary on-site safety awareness, training and technical assistance program for selected mines that have contracted for services with DMME. The specialized program is provided only to mines with less than 25 workers. Mine Division Chief Randy Moore applauded the program and its accomplishments.
“DMME’s number one purpose is to keep these miners safe. We are so glad to be able to provide these smaller operations with the skills and knowledge they need to produce coal safely,” he said. “I’m pleased the general assembly recognized the value of this service to our miners and to see it working with a record number of small coal mines receiving awards.”
Mineral Mining Director Phil Skorupa noted the accomplishments of the miners, calling the logged accident-free hours “quite an accomplishment.”
“It is important to recognize the significant achievements of Virginia’s mines and their employees. It is clear that mine management and the miners themselves are focusing on safety at all levels,” he said.
Photos of all winners can be viewed at www.dmme.virginia.gov/DM/CMSA/13CMSAPresentation.pdf.