Coal mining, reclamation awards presented

November 23, 2019

Eleven awards of excellence were presented to Southwest Virginia coal companies during the Virginia Coal and Energy Alliance’s 48th annual fall meeting recently at the Russell County Government Center in Lebanon.

Awards were presented for abandoned mine land 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.

Awards included:

• VCEA Legacy Award: Paramont Coal Co. Virginia LLC, in Russell County. Contour, steep slope and auger mining techniques were used to remove the coal on this site. Mining began in 2002 and was completed in 2004. The trees have been planted for more than 14 years. The mine site is now part of the surrounding forest.

• Best AML Enhancement: Savage Services Corp., Looney Creek gob pile removal, Wise County. The company recovered coal from the gob pile. Through the AML enhancement project, Savage Services recovers waste coal from the gob pile and uses proceeds from those coal sales to offset the cost of the reclamation. The company is a major supplier for Dominion’s Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center.

• Best Active Surface Mine: Russell County Reclamation LLC, Russell County. Active mining is underway on this permit while the company is working to reclaim the former Moss #3 preparation plant facilities and associated impoundments.

• Best Completed Surface Mine: Paramont Reclamation LLC, Wise and Dickenson counties. This permit consists of 739 acres with 11 seams mined. The permit was mined using surface auger and surface contour methods. Backfilling and regrading of the entire site are complete.

• Best Refuse Disposal: Ramaco Resources Land Holdings LLC, Tazewell County. The plant, deep mine and refuse facility are all located in close proximity. The permit is nearly 323 acres and is all bonded. The Ramaco team continues to maintain the refuse disposal site.

• Best Completed Deep Mine: Paramont Contura LLC, Wise and Dickenson counties. The permitted area consists of 47.75 acres that have been reclaimed. The site mined the Norton seam with the room and pillar method. The post-mining land use is of unmanaged forest and hay-land and pasture.

• Best Forestry Reclamation Approach: Red River Coal Co. Inc., Wise County. The permitted area consists of 2,324.84 acres that have been reclaimed using the forestry reclamation approach. Backfilling and regrading was done using a one pass regrading method.

• Best Active Deep Mine: Buchanan Minerals LLC, Buchanan County. The permitted area consists of 801.65 acres. The operation consists of a long wall mining operation, preparation plant, refuse disposal and load out.

• Best Completed Hollow Fill: Red River Coal Co. LLC, Wise County. The permitted area consists of 827.81 acres. Hollow Fill G contains 3.7 million cubic yards. The fill was completed on April 20, 2016.

• Best Active Preparation Plant: Ramaco Resources Land Holdings LLC, Tazewell County. This is a preparation plant and load out facility. The permitted area consists of 41.94 acres.

• Best Stewardship in Mining and Reclamation: Norton Coal Co. LLC, Tazewell County. This is a reclaimed surface mine with 551.30 acres permitted.