CMA News Release: Colorado Mining Companies Earn Top Environmental Honors


March 23, 2016

Contact: Stuart Sanderson


Denver, CO – At a ceremony held March 23 at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center Hotel in Denver, the Colorado Mining Association (CMA) honored winners of the Environmental Stewardship and Pollution Prevention Awards for 2015.   Over 100 persons were in attendance to celebrate the very best achievements and practices by mining companies. The awards ceremony took place during the CMA’s 118th National Western Mining Conference & Exhibition.

Seven of the eight companies won special recognition status, earning CMA’s endorsement for Colorado’s Environment’s Environmental Leadership Program.   One company – Western Fuels Colorado, LLC’s New Horizon Mine – earned senior participant status for the first time.   And three companies received “Best of the Best” honors for outstanding performance among all of the award recipients.   For the first time ever, an administrative office – AngloGold Ashanti North America Inc. – received the highest award.


Trapper Mining Inc. took top honors in the coal category, earning the “Best of the Best” designation for recycling water, reclaiming mined lands and protecting threatened species at its Trapper Mine.   The company continues aggressive recycling of everything from used oil to tires and batteries.   Water conservation has saved 40 million gallons annually for reuse. Trapper reclaimed and secured final Phase III bond release on more than 3,200 acres and, upon approval of its most recent application, will have achieved final bond release of 81% of reclaimed lands.

Newmont Mining Corporations’ Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company earned “Best of the Best” status for continuing to build upon its strong tradition of community support.   In 2015, CC & V also partnered with the Colorado State University Extension and Teller Park Soil Conservation District to conduct a weed eradication and wildflower picnic on an area north of the City of Victor Bison Reservoir.

The administrative office of AngloGold Ashanti’s North America Inc. earned first ever Best of the Best recognition for its longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship.   The company continues to refine, update and improve its aggressive conservation and recycling programs. By making these protocols available to other offices which may wish to join the program, the office sets an example and a clear path for other administrative offices to follow.

Other Companies Showcase Environmental Achievements

Western Fuels Colorado LLC also won acclaim for outstanding stewardship at the Colowyo Mine.   The state’s most productive surface coal mine continues to successfully implement its variable topsoil replacement program, a model for other mine operations, and for innovative recycling practices, including the donation of haul truck tires for reuse as livestock tanks.   Mountain Coal Company’s West Elk Mine maintained its status as zero water discharge facility by recycling and re-using water from the mine site sediment ponds.   The company continues to use in mine methane gas to heat ventilation air.

Western Fuels Colorado, LLC earned senior level recognition for the first time for outstanding practices at the New Horizon Mine.   A member of the program since 2002, the mine was honored for developing Asset Suite, a program that records and monitors all chemicals used on site, and for reclaiming prime farmlands essential to agricultural productivity.

The Henderson Mine (Climax Molybdenum Company, a Freeport McMoRan Company), again won honors for reducing dust emissions via the replacement of dated scrubbing systems at its mill. Henderson has also developed an extraction well system to capture and divert any groundwater back into the Henderson tailing storage facility. The Climax Molybdenum Company’s Climax Mine, achieved recognition for its commitment to post-mining land management and long-term sustainability in activities related to the 2012 Climax re-start. Climax also recycles the process water from its milling operation.   Its water treatment facilities are the largest and most comprehensive in the history of mining operations in Colorado.

CMA initially developed the award-winning program under a grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s (CDPHE) Pollution Prevention Program. The association developed a first-ever code of Pollution Prevention and Best Management Practices (BMP’s) for the mining industry in Colorado. In 2003, CMA earned a “Friend of EPA award” which praised CMA as “the program directly supports and assists EPA in performing its mission to protect public health and the environment.”

CMA is an industry organization, founded in 1876, whose more than 900 members include the producers of coal and other minerals throughout Colorado, the west and the world.   The association also counts within its memberships both individuals and organizations providing equipment, services, supplies and other support to the industry.