FT. WORTH, Texas, March 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- VHGI Holdings, Inc. (OTC.QB: VHGI) announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary VHGI Coal has added to its management team by appointing seasoned mining professional Ron Hutchcraft as Executive Vice President of the recently acquired Lily Group Landree Mine in Jasonville, Indiana
"This is an important step in the execution of our business plan," said Doug Martin CEO of VHGI. "After having closed this transaction, we immediately focused our attention on ensuring that we had the highest quality of people managing this project who are not only familiar with the quality of coal from this unique deposit, but with all aspects of mining in these conditions," stated Mr. Martin.
Mr. Hutchcraft has a B.S. and Masters degree in Mining Engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He has over 25 years of experience in the Midwest in both underground and surface coal mining. His experience includes all facets of engineering, operations supervision and management, preparation and processing, budgeting and financial adherence, environmental health and safety and regulatory affairs. Over the past 10 years Mr. Hutchcraft has served as the Director of Midwest Operations for Headwaters Energy Services, The VP of Indiana Operations for Horizon Natural Resources and AEI Resources and the General Manager for the Beech Coal Company Sycamore Mine. Mr. Hutchcraft joins two other experienced mining professionals of Lily Groups management team, Ron Pickering, VP Engineering and Dave Smith, Mine Superintendent.
Mr. Pickering attended SIC-Harrisburg and SIU-Carbondale pursuing an Engineering Degree. He began his coal mining career with Arclar in 1989 and moved into Engineering with Arclar in 1990. Over the past 22 years Mr. Pickering has remained in engineering and been involved with 5 start up mining projects including, as Mine Engineering Technician at Arclar Portal 2, Senior Mine Engineering Technician at Willow Lake Mine, Mine Engineer at White Oak Resources Mine, Mine Engineer at Prairie State and now (V.P.) Engineering at Landree Mine. Mr. Pickering holds multiple state mining certificates in Illinois and Indiana.
Mr. Smith began his coal mining career in 1984 with Mid Continent Coal Company. Mr. Smith's 28 years of experience are all in underground coal mining. Mr. Smith is a certified electrician, welder and mechanic and worked as a laborer until 1997. During this time Mr. Smith attended the Beckley Mine Rescue School and was Team Captain of the Mine Rescue Team at the Twentymile Mine in CO. In 1997 he was promoted to Maintenance Chief and Asst. Supt. at Pride Mine. Over the last 15 years Mr. Smith has worked at several underground mines in a management role until joining Landree Mine in mid July as the Mine Superintendent.
Mr. Martin further commented, "These three gentlemen make up a first class management team and have surrounded themselves with the right team of professionals to not only take this mine to the next level, while maintaining a low production cost per ton, but to be able to do so in keeping with the highest level of safety standards."
About VHGI and VHGI Coal
VHGI is a diverse company with assets and interests focusing on opportunities within the Healthcare Technology Industry, Precious Metals, Energy and Mining Markets. VHGI Coal is a wholly-owned subsidiary of VHGI, focusing on the coal mining industry.
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