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

October 26, 2023

In a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 19, the National Mining Association (NMA), the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) honored outstanding achievements in mine safety, technology and reclamation.

The 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 – were honored with the award recognizing performance in 2022.

“Everything that happens in and around a mine happens with a rigorous safety mindset,” said Rich Nolan, NMA president and CEO. “From the miners on the ground to their managers and beyond, safety is an area that requires constant vigilance. Today’s honorees represent our industry’s best; they’ve raised the bar for others, and I look forward to seeing the example they’ve set replicated across industry.”

Initiated in 1923 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.

Note: all recipients marked with an asterisk* are members of the NMA.

Large group category

• Large Coal Processing, Elk Creek Plant, Ramaco Resources* Verner, WV
• Large Open Pit, Smoky Canyon Mine, J R Simplot Company* Afton, WY
• Large Surface Coal, Kosse Mine, Luminant Mining Company LLC* Kosse, TX
• Large Underground Coal, Foidel Creek Mine, Peabody* Oak Creek, CO
• Large Underground Metal, Henderson Operations, Climax Molybdenum Company* Empire, CO
• Large Bank or Pit, Monahans, Capital Sand Permian, LLC Monahans, TX
• Large Dredge, Briggs Plant, Vulcan Construction Materials, LLC Victoria, TX
• Large Metal/Nonmetal Mill, Midlothian Cement Plant, Martin Marietta North Texas Cement, LLC Midlothian, TX
• Large Quarry, Pennsuco Quarry, Titan America Medley, FL
• Large Underground Nonmetal, American Soda LLC, American Soda LLC Green River, WY

Small group category

• Small Underground Metal, Fire Creek, Hecla Mining Company* Winnemucca, NV
• Small Coal Processing, Lady Jane Plant, Rosebud Mining Company Kittanning, PA
• Small Bank or Pit, Crater Sand & Gravel Inc, Crater Sand & Gravel, Inc. Central Point, OR
• Small Dredge, Raccoon River Sand, Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. Des Moines, IA
• Small Metal/Nonmetal Mill, Independent Salt Company, Independent Salt Company Kanopolis, KS
• Small Open Pit, Streetman Plant, Arcosa LWS, LLC Norman, OK
• Small Quarry, Portable Crusher, ROBCO Inc. Grants Pass, OR
• Small Surface Coal, Mine # 1, Thumper Coal LLC Van Lear, KY
• Small Underground Coal, Vail Mine, Rosebud Mining Company Freeport, OH
• Small Underground Nonmetal, Franklin Quarry, Vulcan Construction Materials, LLC Brentwood, TN

In addition, NIOSH also recognized winners with its annual Mine Safety and Health Technology Innovation Awards. Honorees were 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 were recognized for 2022:

• Arch Resources* will receive the 2023 NIOSH Mine Safety and Health Technology Coal Sector Innovation Award for developing a fully wireless, rapid deployable atmospheric gas monitoring solution critical to ensuring a safe working environment.

• Hecla* will receive the 2023 NIOSH Mine Safety and Health Technology Metal Sector Innovation Award for developing a method that allows for greater control of fault-slip seismic events that significantly improves safety.


OSMRE will also recognize Excellence in Surface Mining Reclamation, which is the highest honor given to coal mining companies with exemplary coal mine reclamation in the United States. This year, OSMRE honored the recipient of its Good Neighbor Award.
• Good Neighbor Award: Arch Resources* Thunder Basin Coal Company, LLC, Coal Creek and Black Thunder mines, Campbell County, WY



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