News & Media

Two Arch Coal Reclamation Sites Named Among Nation's Best

September 19, 2002 at 12:12 AM EDT

Interior Department Honors Arch Coal with Two National Awards for Creation of Golf Course and New Addition to State Park


ST. LOUIS September 19, 2002 - The Director of the Department of the Interior's Office of Surface Mining (OSM), Jeff Jarrett, yesterday honored two Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) mines for demonstrating the best reclamation practices of the past year.

The 2002 Excellence in Surface Mining Awards were presented to Arch's Mingo Logan mining complex in southern West Virginia for development of an 18-hole golf course; and the company's former Arch of Illinois operation for the creation of what is now part of Illinois' largest state park.

"Our objective is to restore the land in ways that will serve the needs of surrounding communities long after mining is completed," said Arch Coal's President and CEO Steven F. Leer. "The men and women at these two operations have demonstrated that great things can be achieved on reclaimed lands through the application of creative thinking, careful planning, and excellent reclamation practices."

Only 12 coal companies received Silver Anniversary Excellence in Surface Mining Awards yesterday. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, in announcing the winners, called their reclamation a "true testament to the great strides and achievement the coal industry has made toward stewardship and protection of the environment."

Mingo Logan's Low Gap Surface Mine was transformed over six years into a world-class 18-hole golf course for public use. The development of the Twisted Gun Golf Course was integrated into the normal mining reclamation process and paid for through contributions from Arch Coal, Premium Energy Corp., and Pocahontas Land Corp. on every ton of coal mined.

Until now, the counties of Mingo, McDowell and Logan did not have an 18-hole golf course due to the great expense of course development in the region's mountainous terrain. Earlier this year, the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection awarded Arch Coal with the state's top reclamation honor for the development of Twisted Gun.

At its production peak, Arch of Illinois' Captain Mine was the largest surface mine east of the Mississippi. Located just west of Pyramid State Park, the reclaimed land was purchased by the State, and now is part of the largest state park in Illinois. The property was reclaimed as a mix of farmland, lakes, wetlands, and forests. Wildlife populations are well established and the value of this area continues to grow.

The Dept. of Interior's Office of Surface Mining (OSM), the agency responsible for regulating the environmental impacts of coal production, presents the awards each year. Nominations from coal mine operators are first screened by state coal mining regulatory agencies and OSM Field Offices, which forward state-level winners to OSM Headquarters for final judging. A panel of experts from OSM completes the final judging.

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 6 percent of the electricity generated in the United States. More information is available at


ARCH COAL WINS NUMEROUS RECLAMATION AWARDS FOR TRANSFORMING FORMER MINE LANDS INTO LUSH GOLF COURSE. Arch Coal was recently named among the nation's best examples of mine reclamation for transforming former mine lands into an 18-hole golf course in southern West Virginia. Arch Coal's Mingo Logan operations captured a national honor, the Dept. of Interior's Excellence in Surface Mining award, as well as the state of West Virginia's highest reclamation award, the Dept. of Environmental Protection's David C. Callaghan Award.

RECLAIMED ARCH COAL SITE EARNS NATIONAL HONOR FROM DEPT. OF INTERIOR'S OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING. Arch Coal recently received the 2002 Excellence in Surface Mining Award for their excellence in transforming mine lands into a mix of lakes, farmland, wetlands, and forests. Formerly, this Arch of Illinois mine site was the largest surface mine east of the Mississippi. Now, the reclaimed land is part of Pyramid State Park, the largest state park in Illinois.