News & Media

Arch Coal Hosts Annual Mine Emergency Rescue Drill in Utah to Sharpen Crucial Skills

October 2, 2008 at 12:00 AM EDT

WELLINGTON, Utah (October 2, 2008) - Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) and the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) conducted a mock safety drill today at Dugout Canyon mine in Carbon County, Utah.

The full-day rescue exercise involved more than 150 federal and state officials, miners, local law enforcement, emergency responders and other personnel. While the mock disaster focused on Canyon Fuel Company's Dugout Canyon mine, employees from across Arch's national network of mines participated in various capacities. A total of 10 mine rescue teams participated, one state-run team from Price, and nine teams from across Arch's national network of mines.

"Honing our rescue and teamwork skills in a mock emergency will help prepare us for any situation," says Gene DiClaudio, president of Arch Western Bituminous Group, LLC. "We wanted to make this rescue drill as realistic as possible, including an all-hands-on-deck approach with full involvement of national, state and local enforcement officials. The scenario is scripted with plenty of challenges and twists that reinforce essential skills and is resolved in one very long day."

MSHA and the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining were on site to participate in the voluntary exercise and to deploy new technologies, including a mine rescue robot.

St. Louis-based Arch Coal is one of the nation's largest coal producers.  Arch's mining operations supply the fuel for approximately 6 percent of the electricity generated in the United States. Arch's Canyon Fuel Company is Utah's largest coal producer and a large, state employer with a workforce of approximately 800.

In 2007, Arch's lost-time safety incident rate of 1.02 was three times better than the industry average of 3.31 per 200,000 employee-hours.  Arch Coal has a total of 20 mine rescue teams positioned across its national network of mines.  Last year, the company's annual safety exercise was held at Arch's Lone Mountain Processing Inc. located in Central Appalachia.