CMA News Release: State of Colorado, CMA, Honor Winners of Awards for Outstanding Reclamation

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, Colorado – The Colorado Mining Association (CMA), the Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining & Safety (DRMS) and the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board (MLRB) honored the winners of awards for outstanding coal mine reclamation, at a ceremony held at the Colorado Convention Center March 24 February 18. The awards were presented during the CMA’s 118th National Western Mining Conference & Exhibition.

Five CMA member coal companies, Peabody Energy Sage Creek, Seneca Coal Company, Mountain Coal Company, Colowyo Coal Company and Western Fuels Colorado – New Horizon Mine, earned top honors.   The mines achieved principal recognition this year for the timely completion of reclamation and bond release of thousands of acres of mined lands throughout the state.

“These achievements represent the very best in mine reclamation,” said Stuart Sanderson, CMA President, told more than 200 who attended the ceremony.   “They also represent the success of the partnership between the mining industry and Colorado regulators in the implementation of regulatory programs under the surface mining laws,” he added, “a successful collaboration that dates back to the early 1980s.”    The activities ranged from securing full or partial bond release at hundreds of sites throughout the state, including prime farmlands requiring special protection.

Seneca Coal Company’s Seneca II Mine (Peabody) received top honors for its efforts in reclaiming all of the land the company has mined since operations commenced in 1968, achieving full Phase III bond release and termination of regulatory jurisdiction.   “The company’s nearly 50 year record of achievement is nothing short of remarkable,” Sanderson said.    The company also gained recognition for innovative practices at this operation and the Yoast Mine for the development and use of a Geographic Information System (GIS) to assist in tracking bond release.

Peabody Energy’s Sage Creek Mine also won Phase III bond release for completing reclamation of more than 1,000 acres, while Mountain Coal Company’s West Elk Mine received acclaim for ongoing contemporaneous reclamation resulting in Phase I, II and III bond release overlying its underground mine in Gunnison County.   Colowyo Coal Company’s Colowyo Mine received special recognition for the timely or contemporaneous reclamation of its West Pit, along with 3,400 feet of drainage channels.

Western Fuels Colorado’s New Horizon Mine won the year’s sole honors for reclaiming 108 acres of prime farmlands mined over the course of more than a decade.   Prime farmlands require special topsoil and handling, and the company replaced subsoil and topsoil in four distinct layers to protect these important agricultural properties for future use.

Addressing Exploration Related Impacts – Reclamation and bond release of exploration sites also warrant mention.   Colowyo received awards for full bond release of five exploration sites covering drilling activities that took place over a five year period ending in 2007.   Completed at a cost of over $1.2 million, the company reclaimed 396 exploration holes on 218 drill sites.

Snowcap Coal Company was awarded for completing roadside portals reclamation and gaining final Phase III Bond Release on over 85% of disturbed lands.

CMA is an industry association, founded in 1876, whose more than 900 members include the producers of coal, metals, agricultural and industrial minerals throughout Colorado, the west, and the world; as well as the vast network of individuals and companies providing services, equipment and supplies to the mining industry.


Stuart Sanderson, CMA

 Jim Stark, DRMS