Trapper, Colowyo, Twentymile mines earn mining awards at Colorado Mining Association conference |

Trapper, Colowyo, Twentymile mines earn mining awards at Colorado Mining Association conference

Trapper Mine, Colowyo Mine, and Twentymile Mine each received statewide accolades at the annual Colorado Mining Association and the Department of Reclamation, Mining and Safety conference for their hard work over the last few years.

Trapper Mine was awarded an Excellence in Reclamation award during the annual conference, while Colowyo, Trapper, and Twentymile earned awards for Outstanding Safety Performance.

Individually, Forrest Luke, who recently retired as Environmental Manager of Trapper Mine, was awarded the Dr. James A. Pendleton Award, which is a lifetime achievement award. Marvin Reynolds of Colowyo Mine also received an Excellence in Individual Safety award.

Individual Honors

The Dr. James A. Pendleton Mined Land Reclamation Award honors the memory of Dr. Pendleton, a principal scientist with the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety. The Pendleton Award is presented by the Division and honors substantial achievements in mining and reclamation in the State of Colorado.

Luke, who retired at the end of 2020, previously served as the manager of Environmental and External Affairs at Trapper Mine for 28 years. At Trapper Mine, he was responsible for all reclamation activities, environmental permitting and compliance issues, management of Trapper lands, and various government and community relations duties.

Forrest Luke (Courtesy Photo / Trapper Mine)

Under Luke’s direction, Trapper Mine maintains a nationally recognized reclamation program that was presented in 2002 the Federal Office of Surface Mining’s bronze medal as one of the three best examples of mined land reclamation in the first 25 years of the modern surface mining era.

Currently, Luke serves on the Board of Trustees of Memorial Regional Hospital in Craig and previously as Vice-Chair of the Yampa-White-Green Rivers Basin Roundtable.

At Colowyo Mine, Reynolds was honored as an individual with 30-plus years of continuous safety performance.

Reynolds began his mining career with the company in July 1990. Reynolds was hired on as an equipment operator and quickly moved to the plant as a crusher operator. Later, Reynolds received his certification as a Colorado Surface Mine Foreman and was promoted to the position as Leadman for his crew, serving several years in that position before being promoted to his current role of Coal Shipping Supervisor in January 2015.

Reclamation Award

Trapper Mine, which has invested heavily in reclaiming the land it mines, was honored with an Excellence in Reclamation award during the annual conference.

Trapper Mine currently maintains an active and continuous vegetation sampling program on all reclaimed land in order to attain required standards, which allows for early detection of potential re-vegetation issues and active management of parcels.

Trapper Mine life of mine reclamation statistics includev the following:

– 6,828 total acres disturbed

– 4,745 acres reclaimed

– 3,592 acres of total 4,745 acres

Safety Awards

Along with a reclamation honor, Trapper Mine — joined by Twentymile and Colowyo mines — was awarded with a Mine Health & Safety Award.

Trapper Mine was presented with a very unique operating situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Trapper, along with other mine operators throughout the country, was deemed an essential workplace for their role in energy production as state and federal regulators made energy production a top priority to ensure reliability of the electrical grid.

With that added emphasis on energy production, Trapper employees were introduced to Pre-Job Briefs, which were used in formalized settings with documentation by all that would be involved with the task. Pre-Job Briefs were designed to be a simple process to have employees constantly evaluating and reevaluating the tasks at hand to ensure they are being performed in the safest manner possible.

Those Pre-Job Briefs, along with employees’ commitment to Trapper’s safety credo of “Safety First, Production will Follow” allowed the mine to maintain a safe and productive work environment.

Twentymile, also known as Peabody’s Foidel Creek Mine, has been incident-free since Dec. 5, 2019 and never went an entire year with zero accidents until 2020. Twentymile has been honored with eight Peabody President’s Awards, which is awarded annually to the safest underground mine within Peabody’s America Mines.

As for Colowyo Mine, Colowyo employees worked 407,418 hours plus 49,321 contractor hours for a grand total of 456,739 hours. Colowyo experienced five lost time accidents (LTA) and one reportable accident. A lost time accident is an on the job accident that results in an employee being absent from the workplace for a minimum of one full day work day. Contractors at Colowyo had no lost time or reportable accidents.

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