COLUMBUS- Oxford Mining Company of Ohio was awarded two 2011 Excellence in Surface Coal Mining awards from the U.S. Department of Interior last week based on the company's exemplary reclamation efforts, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mineral Resources Management.
Award nominations were provided by the ODNR Division of Mineral Resources Management.
"The Oxford Mining Company's innovative methods unique approach to mine land reclamation, including the Forestry Reclamation Approach, will result in mine land restoration that more naturally resembles pre-mining conditions," said Chief Lanny Erdos, of the Division of Mineral Resources Management. "By planting native hardwood species, including the American chestnut, the company is providing natural habitat for wildlife, further enhancing the ecosystem."
Only a handful of companies in three states were recognized for exceeding reclamation requirements of the Surface Mining Reclamation and Control Act of 1977.
Previous winners have developed reclamation techniques or coordinated reclamation projects resulting in outstanding local results.
Oxford Mining was one of two companies that received the National award, which goes to the companies exhibiting the best reclamation practices in the country. Oxford Mining used a forestry reclamation approach at its Jockey Hollow West mine site in Harrison County. The company planted more than 80,000 trees across 85 acres of mined land and developed a technique which minimized erosion and runoff.
The Columbus-based company was the only coal mining operator to be recognized with the Good Neighbor Award this year. Recognized for working closely with local communities during reclamation efforts, Oxford Mining allowed multiple groups to use its Jockey Hollow West site as an outdoor classroom, reforestation research and monitoring and training for coal mine inspectors. The company also allowed the American Chestnut Foundation to use the site as a production source for blight-resistant chestnut tree seeds.
The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement presented the awards at a banquet sponsored by the National Mining Association in Washington, D.C. last week.
The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.