News & Media

Arch Coal's West Elk Mine Earns Three Awards for Safety and Environmental Protection in Colorado

February 22, 2005 at 12:00 AM EST

ST. LOUIS (February 22, 2005) - Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) today announced that Mountain Coal Company's West Elk Mine was recognized with three state awards for its outstanding efforts in environmental, health and safety practices in 2004.

The Colorado Division of Minerals and Geology (CDMG) and the Colorado Mining Association (CMA) presented West Elk with the awards at CMA's 107th National Western Mining Conference & Exhibition at the Hyatt Regency in Denver.

West Elk Mine was honored for outstanding land reclamation in two separate projects over the past three years. West Elk has operated for more than five years without a state environmental violation.

West Elk also was recognized for its outstanding contributions to Colorado's Pollution Prevention Program, including the development of an outstanding environmental, health, and safety plan for all employees.

Additionally, West Elk was honored for improvements in underground mine safety attributed to an extensive safety training program. In 2004, West Elk's safety performance was more than 70 percent better than the coal industry's national average based on lost-time incident rates.

"Our objective is to protect our employees and the environment while providing clean-burning, low-sulfur coal to America," said Arch Western Bituminous Group's President Gene DiClaudio. "The men and women at West Elk are to be congratulated for earning three significant awards for their tremendous efforts in safety and reclamation practices."

Mountain Coal Company's West Elk Mine is located in Somerset, Colo. West Elk is one of the most efficient underground coal mines in the United States, with a production rate of 6.5 million tons per year and an average productivity rate of 90 tons per employee-shift. Roughly 400 people are employed at West Elk.

Arch Coal is the nation's second largest coal producer and mines low-sulfur coal exclusively. Through its subsidiary operations in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, Arch provides the fuel for approximately 7 percent of the electricity generated in the United States. More information is available at