CMA News Release: Colorado Mines Earn Top Safety Honors at CMA Conference

Colorado Mining Association
216 16th Street, Suite 1250
Denver, CO 80202
Phone 303/575-9199 Fax 303/575-9194


Division of Reclamation, Mining & Safety
1313 Sherman Street, Room 215
Denver, CO  80203
Phone 303/866-3567 Fax 303/832-8106

March 24, 2016



Denver, CO – The Colorado Mining Association (CMA) and the state of Colorado honored three individuals and four companies for outstanding safety practices in 2015, at a ceremony held during the 118th National Western Mining Conference & Exhibition at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver March 24. More than 125 persons gathered for the event, which produced nine safety awards in all.

Stuart Sanderson, CMA President, told the award winners that “you exemplify the very best in safety achievement.”


Mountain Coal Again Honored as Safest Underground Mine

Mountain Coal Company, L.L.C.’s West Elk Mine in Gunnison County earned top safety honors for the fourth year in a row for posting the lowest total incident rate for underground mines in Colorado (.77 per 200,000 man hours), based on 781,726 man-hours worked.  But it was Western Fuels Colorado, L.L.C that seized the day with four (4) safety innovation awards, while its two surface mines swept the awards for outstanding safety performance.

Top safety honors for a small surface coal mine again went to Western Fuels – Colorado LLC’s New Horizon Mine in Montrose County, which has worked safely and without a lost time accident since September 10, 2010, a total of 280,101 man hours.

Western Fuels Colowyo Mine (Colowyo Coal Company, L.P.) took the large surface mine safety award for working a total of 469,221 man-hours with only one injury for a total reportable incident rate of .43 per 200,000 man-hours worked.   The company also earned safety innovation awards at its Colowyo Mine, the state’s most productive, near Meeker. These included dust control measures to improve worker health, safer methods of transporting flammable materials, the installation of lines to reduce hazards associated with lubricating the rock crusher, and raised containment systems with detachable handrails to reduce lubrication leaks and potential slipping hazards.

Newmont Mining Corporation’s Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company also received an honorable mention for developing a new Safety Suggestion Program entitled See it, Own it, Solve it.   The first portion of the safety journey is the suggestion program, which has generated over 90 recommendations by employees to improve worker safety, over 80% of which have been approved.

Climax and Henderson Mine Employees Honored for Working More than 30 Years Injury Free – Steve Kelso and Steve Schake (Climax) and Tom Welsh (Henderson), longtime employees of both mines were honored at the ceremony.   Each has worked more than 30 years without a lost time injury.

CMA is an industry organization, founded in 1876, whose more than 900 members include producers of coal, metals and other minerals throughout Colorado and the west; together with manufacturers of mining equipment and other individuals and organizations providing services and supplies to the industry.