American Mining Operations Honored for Outstanding Environmental Performance

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


Washington, D.C. – Three U.S. coal mines and four mineral mines today won annual awards from the U.S. Department of the Interior for their outstanding environmental performance, mine reclamation accomplishments and community outreach programs.

The awards were presented by officials from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) during ceremonies hosted by the National Mining Association (NMA). The annual awards, selected by the agencies, 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 sustainable 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 millions of acres of land successfully reclaimed by America’s mining companies over the past quarter century. This is sustainable mining that represents modern mining in America and we’re grateful to the Department of the Interior for recognizing modern mining at its best.”

The department’s award winners were selected by judges from the respective awarding agencies. BLM Associate Director Energy, Minerals and Realty Management Michael Nedd presented the awards to the winning mineral operations and OSMRE Deputy Director Glenda Owens presented her agency’s awards to the winning coal mine operations.

National Mining Association members received four of the environmental awards. They are: North American Coal Corp., Cloud Peak Energy, Alpha Natural Resources and Stillwater Mining Company.

The Reclamation and Sustainable Mineral Development Awards are presented by the BLM in recognition of outstanding reclamation activities that restore land to other productive uses following mining operations and recognize community outreach programs that provide valuable infrastructure and conservation services to local communities. The Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Awards are presented by the OSMRE to coal companies that achieve the most exemplary mining and reclamation in the country, typically by demonstrating sound mining practices and executing effective reclamation plans designed to enhance post-mining land use.

The Department of the Interior began the environmental awards program for mining in 1986 with the OSMRE’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 Awards are:

Hardrock Mineral Director’s Award
Intrepid Potash Wendover (Wendover, Utah)

Hardrock Mineral Small Operator Award
NYAC Mining, Inc. (Anchorage, Alaska)

BLM Hardrock Mineral Community Outreach & Economic Security Award
Stillwater Mining Company (Sweet Grass County, Mont.)

“Fix A Shaft Today!” (FAST) Award
Harding Pegmatite Mine Safeguard Project (Dixon, N.M.)

National Award
North American Coal Corp., Mississippi Lignite Mining Company, Red Hills Mine (Ackerman, Miss.)
Cloud Peak Energy, Antelope Coal Mine (Gillette, Wyo.)

Good Neighbor Award
Alpha Natural Resources, Elk Run Company, Inc. (Boone County, W.Va.)

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