PITTSBURGH, April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CONSOL Energy (NYSE: CNX) was awarded the 2012 Best Completed Deep Mine Award from the Virginia Division of Mined Land Reclamation and the Virginia Mining Association (VMA) for reclamation of its Consolidation Coal Company Vandyke mine in Tazewell County, Va.
The award, presented during the VMA's 42nd annual meeting and awards banquet in Norton, Va., in late March recognizes CONSOL Energy for its reclamation efforts at the Vandyke mine site, a 51.34-acre site, near Bandy, Va. The site is comprised of approximately 31 acres of undisturbed area and 20 acres of reclaimed land and is located in the sensitive Indian Creek watershed. The creek is home to one of the few remaining populations of the riffleshell mussel, an endangered species. Both mining and reclamation operations followed the approved permit to prevent adverse impacts to water quality in the stream.
To be eligible for the award, a site must be recommended by an inspector with the Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy. Tom Mackey was the nominating Department of Mine Land Reclamation inspector.
Katharine Fredriksen, CONSOL Energy senior vice president of environmental strategy and regulatory affairs, noted the reclamation award is indicative of CONSOL Energy's commitment to being a good steward of the environment.
"We consider being a good steward of the environment as one of the most important obligations we have," Fredriksen said. "This particular project allowed us to positively illustrate how mining and the subsequent reclamation can be conducted in a sensitive watershed, without harm to an endangered species and with an eye toward the successful return of the area to unmanaged forestland.
"To be honored by the state of Virginia for our efforts further validates our commitment to our core value of compliance," she added.
Gary Miller, CONSOL Energy general manager of closed operations, agreed the Vandyke mine reclamation project served as further proof of how mining and environmental stewardship can and do co-exist.
"This reclamation project proves once again that the concept of responsible mining, clean coal and the environment can all co-exist," Miller said.
The mine, which CONSOL acquired in 2000, operated in the Pocahontas #10 seam and utilized the first cut continuous mining method. Coal removal at the site concluded in November 2006.
Reclamation of the site began as the mine portals were sealed and all of the coal handling infrastructure was dismantled and recycled beginning in 2007. A regrading plan was initiated to eliminate the highwall face-up area of the mine site. The land was then returned to unmanaged forestland and native vegetation and trees were planted. A total of 2,000 pounds of seed mixture was sown and thereafter, 10,000 tree species were planted including White Pine, Loblolly Pine, Northern Red Oak, Pin Oak, Sawtooth Oak, Green Ash, Button Bush, Indigo Bush and Redbud.
CONSOL Energy Central Appalachia Closed Operations Supervisor Randy Cox accepted the award on behalf of CONSOL Energy.
About CONSOL Energy
CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) is a Pittsburgh-based producer of coal and natural gas. It has 12 bituminous coal mining complexes in four states and reports proven and probable coal reserves of 4.2 billion tons. The company's premium Appalachian coals are sold worldwide to electricity generators and steelmakers. In natural gas, CONSOL Energy has transformed itself from a pure-play coalbed methane producer to a full-fledged exploration and production company. The company is a leading producer in the Marcellus Shale and is transitioning its active exploration program into development mode in the Utica Shale. CONSOL Energy has proved natural gas reserves of 4.0 trillion cubic feet. Operational safety is the company's top core value and CONSOL Energy boasts a record of almost two times better than the industry average for underground bituminous coal mines. CONSOL Energy is a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 Equity Index and the Fortune 500. Additional information about CONSOL Energy can be found at its Web site: www.consolenergy.com.