WASHINGTON, D.C. — Officials of the National Mining Association, the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, and the Bureau of Land Management gathered Nov. 6 to honor top safety, environmental and technology leaders in the mining industry.
Nevada operators Barrick Gold Corp., Kinross Gold Corp. and Tertiary Minerals, US Inc. received recognitions.
“I want to thank and recognize our employees for the hard work and dedication to safety which has made this achievement possible,” said Bill MacNevin, CEO of Barrick Nevada, which oversees the Goldstrike and Cortez mines. “Achieving excellence in safety performance requires a consistent ongoing team effort, and we must continue to relentlessly pursue improvement to ensure that our people get home safe and healthy every day.”
NMA’s Sentinels of Safety Award recognizes coal and mineral mining operations in 20 categories for recording the most hours in a calendar year without a single lost-time injury. The award categories reflect the safety accomplishments of small and large mines.
Twenty American mining operations – six coal mines and 14 mineral/metal mines – were honored with the award recognizing performance in 2016.
Initiated in 1925 by then-Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover, a former mining engineer, the Sentinels of Safety Award program remains the nation’s most prestigious recognition of mine safety and has helped foster a strong safety commitment on the part of U.S. mines.
• Coal Processing Facility: Ceredo Dock – Kanawha River Terminals LLC
• Dredge: Briggs Plant – Fordyce Holdings Inc.
• Metal Nonmetal Mill: Barrick Cortez – Barrick Gold Corp.
• Open Pit: South Arturo Mine – Barrick Gold Corp.
• Surface Coal: Freedom Mine – North American Coal Corp.
• Underground Coal: Bull Mountains Mine No. 1 – Signal Peak Energy LLC
• Underground Metal: Barrick Cortez Underground – Barrick Gold Corp.
• Underground Nonmetal: Cargill Salt Group, Cleveland – Cargill Inc.
• Bank or Pit: Murphy Plant – Fordyce Holdings Inc.
• Quarry: St. Genevieve Facility – Tower Rock Stone Co.
• Bank or Pit: Loveland Ready-Mix Concrete – Loveland Ready-Mix Concrete
• Coal Processing Facility: Midway Coal Handling Facility – Armstrong Coal Co., Inc.
• Dredge: Portage Aggregate & Supply LLC
• Metal Nonmetal Mill: Curtin Gap Quarry – Hanson Aggregates Pennsylvania LLC
• Open Pit: Siderite Mine – Sidco Minerals Inc.
• Quarry: Walker Stone – Walker Stone
• Surface Coal: Three Mile Mine #1 – CAM Mining LLC
• Underground Coal: Coon Cedar Grove Mine – Marfork Coal Co. LLC
• Underground Metal: Buick Mine/Mill – The Doe Run Co.
• Underground Nonmetal: Decker’s Creek Limestone Co. – Decker’s Creek Limestone Co.
Environmental, Reclamation and Community Contributions
Five U.S. coal and hardrock mining companies won awards from the U.S. Department of the Interior for their outstanding environmental performance, mine reclamation accomplishments and community outreach programs.
OSMRE 2017 winners include:
• National Award: Coal Mac LLC (Arch Coal) Pine Creek 2 Surface Mine, Omar, West Virginia
• National Award: Cloud Peak Energy Spring Creek Mine, Decker, Montana
• Good Neighbor Award: Thunder Basin Grasslands Prairie Ecosystem Association (the award lists five current or former association members: Arch Coal, Cloud Peak Energy, Contura Energy, Kiewit Mining Group and Peabody)
BLM 2017 winners include:
• Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award: Teck American Incorporated
• “Fix a Shaft Today”: Havasu 4 Wheelers
• Hardrock Mineral Small Operator Award: Tertiary Minerals, US Inc.
• Hardrock Mineral Small Operator Award: XII Caesars Gold LLC
In addition, NIOSH awarded Mine Safety and Health Technology Innovations Awards, which recognize the significant advancements in mining technology by the mining industry that have made mining safer and more productive.
The following companies were recognized for 2017:
• Kinross Gold
ELKO — Danny Tarkanian visited Elko on Sunday attempting to make the greatest political turnaround since Abraham Lincoln. Bucking for Dean Heller’s U.S. Senate seat, Tarkanian described his plans to support President Trump’s “America First” policies.
“We’re going to make history,” Tarkanian told the intimate crowd at Ruby Radio headquarters. “No sitting senator has lost the primary election in Nevada history.”
Tarkanian listened to concerns ranging from the DACA program to lack of support for veterans. “You may not agree with every position I take, but they will be the positions I campaigned on.”
While the son of famous basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian has lost several close political races, he said, “I have never regretted not backing down. I’m somebody with strong convictions of political philosophy, strong America First convictions — even when the left-leaning media attacks. Somebody to go back [to Washington, DC] to ‘drain the swamp’ who is a fighter, who doesn’t give up and quit.”
During the 2016 election, Republicans like Gov. Brian Sandoval and Heller adopted “Never Trump” stances, resulting in a narrow statewide victory for Hillary Clinton.
“How many in the GOP felt Hillary would make a better President? We had people who wanted to protect their positions more than doing what’s best for the country,” Tarkanian said. “That’s why so many people in the country don’t like politicians.”
Tarkanian advocated congressional term limits, and said “The biggest problem in government is legal contributions. That’s ‘free speech,’ and some people do the right thing, but in totality, some are extremely influenced. And average people don’t have that voice.
“Big corporations hide money overseas and don’t pay anything. I’m a proponent of the Flat Tax, and would vote for that in a heartbeat.”
Purple Heart veteran Felix Ike described the under-representation for Nevada’s 27 Native Tribes.
“In the eight reservations in northeastern Nevada, there are still no grave markers for veterans. After a while, denied a few times, you say, ‘To heck with it,’ get a rock, paint it up, and call it good.”
Ike said that for veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder on reservations, “The only medication is drugs and alcohol.” He also pointed out the Veterans Health Administration still has no clinic in Elko.
“It’s disgraceful hearing stories like that,” Tarkanian said. “There’s money in other programs, but they don’t take care of veterans. They deserve the best funding of any segment of our country. ... To bring public awareness, ask people to get their stories on film at VFWs. Without those stories, we can’t bring a big enough stink.”
The lifetime NRA member described himself as “a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. I always have been, and I’ll never back off.”
Tarkanian said he was happy Trump withdrew Obama’s executive order for the DACA Program.
“I wouldn’t vote for citizenship for those children,” he said. “It’s not fair to people doing it the right way, standing in line.”
“I won’t have the money Heller has,” Tarkanian said, describing his Ten for Tark sponsorship, for $10 a month. “With ten thousand Trump supporters, I’ll have enough to win this race.”
ELKO—The City of Elko is working to maintain the Humboldt River vegetation and public park trail areas by removing Russian olive trees and other invasive species and vegetation that hinder the flow rates of the river.
“The trees are like a nuisance because they grow like weeds,” said Public Works Director Dennis Strickland. “We work with the Nevada Division of Forestry crews to get them removed.”
This removal is one of the public works projects described in the Humboldt Area River Project master plan drafted by the Humboldt River project subcommittee in 1999. The plan was revised in 2010, said Parks and Recreation Director James Wiley.
Assistant City Manager Scott Wilkinson said the city had a hydrologist from Hansen, Allen, & Luce Inc. in Salt Lake City evaluate the river, as woody species were hindering the flow rates a few weeks ago.
This information will allow the Elko Park and Recreation and Public Works Department to improve the river’s overall quality, its subsequent outfalls, and then address the invasive species problems and general maintenance as they arise.
“We are also working to burn the dead willow trees with the City of Elko Fire Department,” Wilkinson said. “I cannot remember the last time that the city maintained them.”
There has been no announced date for the controlled burn of these trees. Wiley said he hopes to have that portion of maintenance completed by the end of November.
Improvements in the overall vegetation of the Frisbee Golf Course are also a portion of the project.
The Elko Parks and Recreation Department routinely works on the thinning of vegetation, planting of trees, and removal of invasive species. The last thinning of invasive weed species, spraying of herbicides, burn off, and reseeding occurred in 2014, Wiley said.
“After the flood, we also did a lot of thinning down there,” Wiley said. “The thistle and white-top weed species are the most common by the Frisbee course. The course is about five to six years old. We want to balance the native landscape with the river vegetation to keep the bank stable.”
All aspects of the HARP project aim to help make the trails, park and river better places for area residents.
ELKO – The Elko County Fire Protection district has opened the controlled burning season.
A controlled burn is a burn that is used to maintain the natural vegetation of an area. People are advised to only burn vegetation and no construction materials in their controlled burns. No paint or aerosols should be present on the burning materials as it could cause serious fire containment issues.
The burns must take place during the daylight hours of 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. All of the burning of materials must be completed by 2 p.m.
“People call in to Central Dispatch to request burns,” Elko County Fire Administrator Linda Bingaman said. “Usually, people like to use these to clean up their yard waste. We’ve decided that the end of fire season conditions finally warrant the opening on controlled burning.”
Elko County Fire Protection District advises burners of the list of rules including: to not leave fires unattended for any reason, to not burn if the weather conditions are windy, to not burn in the dark, an adult must be present at the burn site, keep the burn materials a small size of four feet by four feet, to keep a 30-foot clearance around the burn area, and to extinguish all piles completely once the burning is done.
Central Dispatch can be contacted by phone at 777-7300 to request burn permits for this fall season. The callers must explain what they plan to burn, and give their address.
“We need to take down that information so we can keep tabs on all of the controlled burns occurring in the area,” Bingaman said. “If one of those burns turn into a fire, we then know where we need to send the dispatch officers and personnel.”
The dispatch officer will remind the caller of the controlled burn rules, and ask them to call in when they start burning the materials.
To request a free burn permit, and to call in for a controlled burn, contact Central Dispatch at 777-7300. For further questions about controlled burning, contact the Elko County Fire Protection District at 738-9960.