November 7, 2017 - Marfork Coal Company, LLC, an affiliate of Alpha Natural Resources (ANR, Inc.), has been recognized for outstanding safety performance at its Coon Cedar Grove Mine with the awarding of the Sentinels of Safety, a national honor presented by the National Mining Association. Coon Cedar Grove won the honor for 2016 in the Small Underground Coal Group.
Alpha's Senior Vice President of Safety, Brian Keaton, says the achievement is indicative of Coon Cedar's, and in fact, the company's approach to safety. "Safety is paramount, it is our first objective, and to have the dedication of the Coon Cedar Grove workers be recognized with this prestigious national honor is gratifying."
Sentinels of Safety are awarded annually to the nation's safest mines. To qualify, mines must have a minimum of 4,000 injury free hours. The Coon Cedar Grove mine, which is located in Raleigh County, had more than 48,000 injury-free hours in 2016 and is the fourth Alpha-affiliated operation to win the honor in the last decade.
The awards were initiated in 1925 by then-Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover and remain the most prestigious awards recognizing mine safety. Marfork Coal Company President Charlie Bearse said, "Our workers live out their commitment to Running Right and we celebrate their achievements as they look out for the safety of one another."
Marfork Coal Company's Shannon Dickens, Superintendent; Michael Vaught, Safety Director and Lee Miller, Safety Representative received the honor from the National Mining Association on behalf of the approximately 20 miners working at Coon Cedar Grove at the annual awards dinner in Washington, D.C.
Alpha Natural Resources has affiliate mining operations in West Virginia, and supplies metallurgical coal to the steel industry and thermal coal to generate power. Alpha has offices in Kingsport, Tennessee, and Julian, West Virginia, which support approximately 20 active mining operations. Alpha is committed to being a leader in mine safety and an environmental steward in the communities where its affiliates operate.