• Leaders in Mine Safety, Environmental Stewardship and Technology Honored by NMA and Federal Agencies

Leaders in Mine Safety, Environmental Stewardship and Technology Honored by NMA and Federal Agencies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Mining Association (NMA), the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM), will gather next week to honor outstanding achievements in mine safety, environmental stewardship and technology. The awards ceremonies will take place on Monday, October 21, in Washington, D.C.


NMA’s Sentinels of Safety Award recognizes coal and mineral mining operations in 10 categories for recording the most hours in a calendar year without a single lost-time injury. A minimum of 4,000 hours is required for award consideration. The award categories reflect the safety accomplishments of both small and large mines.

Twenty American mining operations – six coal mines and 14 mineral/metal mines – will be honored with the award recognizing performance in 2018.

“Safety is not just a top priority – it is the foundation that supports everything else in our industry,” said Rich Nolan, NMA president and CEO. “The Sentinels of Safety Award acknowledges outstanding achievements in safety and serves as a reminder that even the best safety programs require constant attention and awareness.”

Initiated in 1925 by then Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover, a former mining engineer, the Sentinels of Safety Award program remains the nation’s most prestigious recognition of mine safety and has helped foster a strong safety commitment on the part of U.S. mines.

Recipients include the following:

Large Group Category

  • Large Coal Processing, Navajo Mine, Bisti Fuels Company, (North American Coal Corporation) (NMA member)
  • Large Metal/Nonmetal Mill, Kinross Fort Knox, Kinross Fort Knox, (Kinross Gold USA) (NMA member)
  • Large Surface Coal, Cordero Rojo Mine, Cordero Mining LLC, Cloud Peak Energy
  • Large Underground Coal, Cedar Grove #2 Mine, Aracoma Coal Company, LLC (Contura Energy) (NMA member)
  • Large Underground Metal, Resolution Mine, Resolution Copper Mining LLC (NMA member)
  • Large Bank or Pit, Sand Processing Plant, Shale Support Holdings LLC
  • Large Dredge, Brazos Plant, Hanson Aggregates LLC
  • Large Open Pit, Wingate Creek Mine, Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC
  • Large Quarry, Clinchfield Plant, CEMEX Southeast LLC
  • Large Underground Nonmetal, Cayuga Mine, Cargill Salt


Small Group Category

  • Small Coal Processing, Rawhide Mine, Peabody North Complex, Peabody (NMA member)
  • Small Underground Metal, Lucky Friday Mine, Hecla Mining Company (NMA member)
  • Small Bank or Pit, Plant #31, Milestone Materials
  • Small Dredge, Hill Road Pit, Westfall Aggregate & Materials, Inc.
  • Small Metal/Nonmetal Mill, Cumberland River Quarry, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel Company
  • Small Open Pit, Livingston Plant #1672, Arcosa LW BR, LLC
  • Small Quarry, Roff Plant, Covia Corporation
  • Small Surface Coal, Upper Second Creek Mine, Locust Grove, Inc.
  • Small Underground Coal, Meridian #2 Mine, Calico Coal, Inc.
  • Small Underground Nonmetal, St. Clair Mine, U.S. Lime Company – St. Clair                                                                       


Environmental Contributions

The U.S. Department of the Interior recognized two coal companies, two hardrock companies and one equipment manufacturer for their outstanding environmental performance, mine reclamation accomplishments and community outreach programs.

OSMRE 2019 winners include:

  • Good Neighbor Award: Navajo Mine, Navajo Transitional Energy (NMA member)
  • Good Neighbor Award: Leer Mine Complex, Arch Coal (NMA member)
  • National Award: Vermilion Grove Mine, Peabody (NMA member)
  • National Award: Kayenta Mine, Peabody (NMA member)

BLM 2019 winners include:

  • Mine Legacy Steward Award (formerly Fix a Shaft Award), Newmont U.S.A. Limited (NMA member)
  • The Hardrock Mineral Community Outreach and Economic Security Award, Barrick (NMA member)
  • The Hardrock Environmental Award, Graymont – Indian Creek Mine
  • Small Operator Award, Goldnuts, LLC



In addition, NIOSH will recognize this year’s Mine Safety and Health Technology Innovations Awards winners. Honorees are selected due to the significant advancements they have made to enhance mine safety by applying technology or improved processes in innovative ways.

The following companies will be recognized for 2019:

  • Safescape will be recognized for developing the Laddertube, a safer, more durable and easier-to-climb escapeway ladder than a traditional steel or timber option.
  • The Gillette College Industry Safety Training Center will be recognized for developing a stand-alone blind spot awareness training, which uses 360-degree photos from an operating mine, GoPro and drone footage, and virtual reality technology, to allow users to virtually experience blind spots from within 10 pieces of commonly used equipment in coal mines.

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