Westmoreland Coal Company (NYSE AMEX: WLB) announced today that Dakota Westmoreland Corporation’s Beulah Mine has received the Lignite Energy Council’s Safety Excellence Award for the mine or plant with the lowest accident incident rate in the lignite industry. The Beulah Mine had an exceptional safety record in 2010, completing the entire year without any lost-time accidents. As of December 31, 2010, the Beulah Mine had worked 667 days without a lost-time accident and continues to build on that record having worked 770 days without an accident resulting in lost-time. The mine also completed 2010 without an MSHA reportable. Dakota Westmoreland’s accident rate of 0.00 compares to the U.S. surface mining industry average of 1.11 for 2010 as reported by the Mine Safety Health Administration.
“The lignite users and producers in this region believe that the efficient production of a low-cost, reliable energy source cannot be achieved without serious attention to the health and safety of their employees,” said John Dwyer, president of the Lignite Energy Council. “Dakota Westmoreland’s Beulah Mine has made a commitment to safe operations above and beyond what is required by state and federal regulations,” Dwyer said. “Dakota Westmoreland is truly dedicated to the safety of its employees, and has performed exceptionally to earn this award.”
The Beulah Mine is a 9,000-acre surface mining complex located 75 miles northwest of Bismarck, North Dakota. Coal from the mine supplies the fuel requirements for the adjacent 427 MW Coyote Generating Station and the two-unit 115 MW Heskett Station, located 74 miles away. The mine produces approximately 3.0 million tons of lignite a year.
Westmoreland Coal Company is the oldest independent coal company in the United States. The Company’s coal operations include coal mining in the Powder River Basin in Montana and lignite mining operations in Montana, North Dakota and Texas. Its power operations include ownership of the two-unit ROVA coal-fired power plant in North Carolina. For more information, visit www.westmoreland.com.
# # #
Contact: Kevin Paprzycki (719) 442-2600