“Peabody finished 2010 with the best global safety performance in our 127-year history, and this achievement comes in part due to the outstanding results at the Viking and Twentymile operations,” said Peabody President and Chief Commercial Officer Richard A. Navarre. “These two mines raise the bar for our operations teams around the globe as we move closer to our goal of zero incidents of any kind.”

The Viking surface mine, which operates two distinct mining operations at the Knox and Corning pits, was recognized for completing the year with zero reportable incidents, across more than 622,800 operating hours. The mine’s Knox workforce has operated with zero incidents for the past three years, while the Corning team has operated incident-free for more than 350,200 operating hours over13 consecutive months. This mine’s 2010 performance of zero incidents compares with 1.7 incidents per 200,000 operating hours, the 2010 U.S. average for surface coal mines according to the latest available U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) data.

Located in Daviess County, Ind., the Viking mine sold about 3.7 million tons of coal in 2010. It also has earned the President’s Award for two additional years, 2007 and 2004, and operated incident-free during a four-year period.

In Colorado, the Twentymile underground mine achieved a 2.12 incident rate, compared to MSHA’s preliminary 2010 industry average of 5.65 for peers. Twentymile’s 2010 safety performance also reflects a 60% year-over-year improvement and a more than 50% reduction in MSHA citations.

Twentymile’s achievements follow a year in which the company increased safety awareness training and advanced new technology across its operations, such as communications and tracking systems and proximity detection for underground mines.

“Globally, our safety rate improved 24% over two years, and Peabody’s U.S. operations outperformed industry peers by 50%,” said Peabody Executive Vice President and COO Eric Ford. “Our Australia operations also have continued their dramatic improvement toward our vision ‘to operate safe workplaces that are incident-free.’”

Two other Peabody operations achieved zero incidents in 2010: the Eaglefield mine in Queensland, Australia, and the Farmersburg mine, an Indiana operation that was presented this past year with the U.S. Department of Labor’s prestigious Sentinels of Safety Award as the nation’s safest large surface mine, the fourth time Peabody operations earned this honor in seven years. In 2010, Peabody operations earned more than 10 honors for safety and operational excellence.