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

LAS VEGAS – Four U.S. coal mines and three 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, best practices and 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. David Berry, OSMRE regional director, Western Regional Office, presented the awards to the winning coal operations and Michael Nedd, BLM assistant director-energy, minerals and realty management, presented to the winning minerals mine operations at a luncheon reception in Las Vegas, Nev. during the National Mining Association’s MINExpo INTERNATIONAL® 2016, the largest mining show in the world.

National Mining Association members Kinross Gold, Navajo Transitional Energy Company and Westmoreland Coal Company received three of the environmental awards.

“It is a great honor to receive this recognition.  We are very proud of our people and the effort they put into our reclamation and closure activities,” said Kinross Gold’s Lauren Roberts, senior vice-president, corporate development.

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
Baker Hughes Argenta Mine (Battle Mountain, Nevada)

Hardrock Mineral Small Operator Award
Jubilee Mine, LLC (Fairbanks, Alaska)

BLM Hardrock Mineral Community Outreach & Economic Security Award
Kinross Kettle River-Buckhorn Mine (Republic, Wash.)


National Award
Northampton Fuel Supply Company, Inc., PA Surface Mine Permit, Loomis Bank Operation (Freeland, Penn.)

National Award-Mid Continent Region
Solar Sources Inc., Cannelburg Mining Complex (Daviess County, Ind.)

National Award-Appalachian Region
Westmoreland Resource Partners LP, Oxford Mining Company, LLC, Daron-Consol Mine (Harrison Country, Ohio)

National Award-Western Region
Navajo Transitional Energy Company, BHP Billiton Mine Management Company, Navajo Mine (Fruitland, N.M.)

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