ST. LOUIS, Dec. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Peabody Energy today said the Indiana Society of Mining Reclamation has honored the company with a 2016 Excellence in Mining and Reclamation Award for an ecological approach to restoration at the former Viking Mine – Knox Pit south of Bicknell in Knox County. The honors recognize efforts to restore prime farmland and wildlife habitat, improve stream water quality and enhance riparian and aquatic habitat. The work included reclaiming former refuse areas that were left in the mine lease area by a previous owner, which improved stream water quality.
The highest honor presented by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources' Division of Reclamation, the award was given at the annual Indiana Society of Mining and Reclamation, Technology Transfer Seminar in Evansville, Ind.
"Peabody is honored to receive this award. We take pride in sustaining the land's natural resources and know the value restoration has for our communities and generations to come," said Peabody Energy President – Americas Kemal Williamson.
Williamson said that Peabody has been reclaiming lands for decades and led the industry's first land restoration initiatives in the 1950s, nearly a quarter century before the law required it.
To date, the company has reclaimed more than 95 percent of the mined acreage at Viking Mine – Knox Pit, which is advancing through final reclamation. Viking is the third Peabody Indiana mine in eight years to be recognized by the state's Society of Mining Reclamation.
Over the past decade, Peabody has spent approximately $185 million to restore 48,000 acres. In 2015, the company restored more than 4,700 acres of mined lands into rangeland, wildlife habitat, hardwood forests, prime farmland and wetlands.
In addition to paying for every dollar of its own coal mine restoration, Peabody has paid nearly $560 million in the past decade to the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program, and contributed more than $45 million in 2015.
Peabody has more than 1,000 employees at its Indiana operations and injected more than 1.7 billion in direct and indirect economic benefits into the nearby communities in 2015.
Peabody Energy is the world's largest private-sector coal company and a Fortune 500 company. The company serves metallurgical and thermal coal customers in 25 countries on six continents and has earned more than 130 awards for safety, corporate and environmental excellence in the past five years. For further information, visit www.PeabodyEnergy.com.
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SOURCE Peabody Energy