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Elk Creek Coal Mine awarded “Best of the Best” for environmental protection and reclamation in 2012

DENVER – The Elk Creek Coal Mine, owned and operated by Oxbow Mining LLC, earned state recognition for its project to turn excess coal methane gas into electricity for the Aspen Ski Company.

Jim Kiger, Environmental Manager, and Mike Ludlow, Executive Vice President of the Elk Creek Coal Mine, accepted the “Best of the Best” in environmental reclamation at the Colorado Mining Association’s (CMA) annual recognition ceremony.

“There were so many people at the mine and in the community who put aside their political differences, rolled up their sleeves and worked together to turn this project into reality,” said Mike Ludlow.

CMA initially developed the award-winning program under a grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s (CDPHE) Pollution Prevention Program. The association developed a first-ever code of Pollution Prevention and Best Management Practices (BMP’s) for the mining industry in Colorado. In 2003, CMA earned a “Friend of EPA award” which praised CMA as “the program directly supports and assists EPA in performing its mission to protect public health and the environment.”

Senior participants submitted detailed information demonstrating compliance with all program requirements, such as container and chemical management, recycling, reclamation, energy efficiency, and other protocols and Best Management Practices. Companies earned special recognition for developing programs that serve as a model for incorporation by local communities or adoption by other mine operators. Those earning special recognition also receive CMA’s nomination for the CDPHE Environmental Leadership Program.


The mine gained approval of an historic permit revision for a coal mine methane electricity generating facility. Partnering with the Aspen Skiing Company, Vessel’s Gas Company and Gunnison Energy Corporation, Oxbow’s project is the nation's first such project on a large scale. The generating facility converts potentially explosive methane gas otherwise vented for mine safety purposes, into electricity, producing over 24 million kilowatt hours of power, enough to fuel all of Aspen Skiing's four ski areas, 13 restaurants and three hotels.

The company also earned recognition for recycling of used oil, lead batteries, and scrap metal; and for the use of low mercury fluorescent light tubes. Recycling activity extends to computers and toner cartridges.

For further information contact:

Corporate Communications & Community Relations
Oxbow Carbon LLC
1601 Forum Place, Suite 1400
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 907-5422



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