American Mining Operations Honored for Outstanding Environmental Performance

Department of the Interior Annual Environment, Reclamation Awards Pay Tribute to Eight U.S. Coal, Mineral Mines in 2011

Washington, D.C. – Five U.S. coal mines, three mineral mines and one state association today won annual awards from the U.S. Department of the Interior for their outstanding environmental performance, mine reclamation achievements and community outreach programs in 2010.

The awards were presented by officials from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) during ceremonies hosted by the National Mining Association (NMA). The two federal agencies co-sponsor the annual awards that recognize the best environmental and reclamation practices throughout the year for coal and mineral mining.

“NMA is proud of these award winners for the commitment they have shown to modern mining techniques, to best practices and to the communities in which they operate,” said NMA President and CEO Hal Quinn. “Their work has contributed to the nearly three million acres of land successfully reclaimed by America’s mining companies over the past quarter century. This is sustainable mining that represents the future of mining in America.”

BLM Director Bob Abbey presented the awards to the winning mineral operations and OSM Deputy Director Glenda Owens presented her agency’s awards to the winning coal mine operations. All winners were selected by judges from the respective awarding agencies.

The Department of the Interior’s Reclamation and Sustainable Mineral Development Awards recognize outstanding reclamation activities that restore land to other productive uses following mining operations and community outreach programs that provide valuable infrastructure and conservation services to local communities. The “Good Neighbor” category recognizes outreach efforts that provide local teachers with hands-on training to help students better appreciate conservation practices, sponsor mining tours for the local public and support community activities.

The Department of the Interior began the environmental awards program for mining in 1986 with the OSM’s “Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation” award. In 2002, BLM inaugurated a parallel program for reclamation of mineral mines, presenting its first awards the following year for sustainable development practices.

The winners of the Department of the Interior’s Annual Reclamation and Sustainable Mineral Development Awards for 2011 are:

Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award
Kinross Gold (USA), TVX Mineral Hill Inc, TVX Mineral Hill Mine, (Montana)
Hardrock Mineral Small Operator Award
Compass Mining, Inc. (Alaska)
BLM Hardrock Mineral Community Outreach & Economic Security Award
Alaska Miners Association – Small Scale Mining Committee (Alaska)
“Fix A Shaft Today” (FAST) Award
Teck American – McCracken Mine (Arizona)

National Award
Big Horn Coal Company, Big Horn Mine (Montana)
Oxford Mining Company, The Jockey Hollow West Mine Site (Ohio)
Director’s Award
Western Energy Company, Rosebud Mine (Montana)
Peabody, Big Sky Coal Company, Big Sky Mine Area B (Montana)
Good Neighbor Award
Oxford Mining Company, The Jockey Hollow West Mine Site (Ohio)

For more information on the DOI environment and reclamation awards, see or