Eleven awards of excellence were presented to Southwest Virginia coal companies during the Virginia Coal and Energy Alliance’s 47th annual Fall Meeting and “Excellence In Mining Awards,” Monday bat the Russell County Government Center in Lebanon.
Awards presented included those for AML enhancement, best active surface mine, best completed surface mine, best refuse disposal, best completed deep mine, best forestry reclamation approach, best active deep mine, best completed fill, best active prep plant, best stewardship in mining and reclamation and a 15-Year Legacy award.
Justin Prosser, director of congressional affairs for the National Mining Association, gave an update on last Tuesday’s election results and on legislative issues in Washington D.C. VCEA Government Affairs Director Clark Lewis gave an overview of state election results and legislative issues. VCEA Director of Environmental Affairs Brooks Smith provided an overview of federal and state environmental topics.
The membership also heard from Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy Deputy Director Butch Lambert on mine safety and DMME issues.
Sen. Ben Chafin and Delegates Israel O’Quinn and Todd Pillion were in attendance and delivered brief remarks. They were each presented with a glass paperweight with the VCEA logo and House and Senate bill numbers of the Coal Tax Credit legislation which reinstituted the coal tax credit earlier this year.
Michelle Jenkins, from 9th District Congressman Morgan Griffith’s office, was also in attendance.
Jeff Taylor, outgoing VCEA president, was presented with a plaque honoring his service to the organization. The presentation was made by J.P. Richardson, the current VCEA chairman.
Excellence in Mining Awards presented were as follows:
• Best AML Enhancement: Savage Services Company, Wise County, Tom’s Creek Gob Pile Removal. Savage Services Company is a major fuel supplier for Dominion’s Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center. Through the AML enhancement project, Savage Services Company recovers waste coal from the gob pile and uses proceeds from those coal sales to offset the cost of the reclamation. The state benefits in realizing cost savings through total removal of the gob pile. Danny Bailey is the DMME inspector.
• Best Active Surface Mine: Paramont Contura, LLC, Dickenson/Buchanan County. The site is located 0.25 Miles South of Duty on Cane Creek. It consists of surface area, surface steep slope and surface auger (highwall miner) operations approved for mining of the Tiller, Jawbone, Jawbone Rider, Raven, Raven 1, Raven 2, Raven Marker, Raven Rider, Aily and Kennedy seams. The permit consists of 2,393.45 total acres to be mined. Rick Altizer is the DMME inspector.
• Best Completed Surface Mine: Clintwood Elkhorn Mining, LLC., Buchanan County. The site is located four miles WSW of Hurley on Race Fork. Multiple seams of coal have been mined on this permit. The permit consisted of 984.11 acres that have been reclaimed. Bobby Yates is the DMME inspector.
• Best Refuse Disposal: Ramaco Resources Land Holdings, LLC, Tazewell County. The site is located 1.5 miles North of Red Ash on Jamison Creek. Ramaco’s “Jamison Creek Impoundment” permit was originally issued in 1983. Ralph Stacy is the DMME inspector.
• Best Completed Deep Mine: Red River Coal Company, Inc., Wise County. The site is located on Phillips Creek. Primarily, mining has been done in the Taggart seam. John Clevinger is the DMME inspector.
• Best Forestry Reclamation Approach: Clintwood Elkhorn Mining, LLC, Buchanan County. The permit was issued September 28, 2001. The site is located 2.5 miles NNW of Hurley on Knox Creek. The coal seams being mined are Clintwood, Upper Split Eagle, Lower Split Eagle, Blair, Glamorgan, Hagy, and Splashdam. Post mining land use is unmanaged forest land. Nathan Abshire is the DMME inspector.
• Best Active Deep Mine: Paramont Contura, LLC, Dickenson County. The site is located three miles southeast of McClure on Rush Branch. The coal seam being mined is the Lower Banner Coal Seam (underground R & P). Rick Altizer is the DMME inspector.
• Best Completed Fill: Norton Coal Company, LLC, Tazewell County. The site is located 3.40 miles North of Richlands on Town Hill Creek. The permit was originally issued in 2005. Mining has ceased and the permit is now reclaimed. Ralph Stacy is the DMME inspector.
• Best Active Prep Plant: Buchanan Minerals, LLC, No. 1 Mine Preparation Plant, Buchanan County. The plant is located 2.9 miles south of Keen Mountain and has been in operation ever since construction was completed in December 1984. The plant
currently employees 45 workers. During the 12 months ending October 2018, the plant processed 5.11 million clean tons of coal and shipped 5.05 million clean tons. Lail Deel is the DMME inspector.
• Best Stewardship in Mining and Reclamation: Red River Coal Company, Inc., Wise County. The site is located six miles northeast of Norton, on Rogers and Amos Ridge. Multiple seams are being mined on the permit. John Clevinger is the DMME inspector.
• 15 Year Legacy Award: Red River Coal Company, Inc., Wise County. The site is located nine miles north of Norton, near the Guest River headwaters. Multiple seams were mined on the permit. John Clevinger is the DMME inspector.
After the presentation of awards, Richardson closed the meeting, extending appreciation to VCEA President Harry Childress and VCEA Executive Director of Education and Outreach Barbara Altizer for their tireless efforts on behalf of the association and its membership.
Sponsors of the fall meeting and annual awards dinner included Contura Energy; Jennmar Corp.; Appalachian Power – AEP; Dominion Energy; SunCoke Energy-Jewell; Walt Crickmer; Landon Wyatt; Red River Coal; West River Conveyors; and 3B Consulting Services.
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- On November 20, 2018