Monday, May 8, 2017

Westmoreland Coal Company's miner, Michael Ramsey, 62, of Colstrip, died in a tragic truck accident at the Rosebud Mine in Colstrip, MT after the truck fell 100 feet into a mine pit

13 hrs ago

A coal miner died Saturday afternoon in an incident that involved a large dump truck at the Rosebud Mine outside of Colstrip.

Although an official cause of death has yet to be declared, an employee at the Rosebud Mine said the driver was operating a 100-ton haul truck when it fell off of a 100-foot ledge.

The miner was identified Sunday night as Michael Leroy Ramsey, 62, of Colstrip, said Rosebud County Sheriff Allen Fulton

Emergency crews were contacted at about 5:20 p.m. on Saturday. Ramsey was driving the truck and for some reason fell more than 100 feet into a pit, Fulton said.

He said a mine rescue crew rappelled into the pit and retrieved Ramsey's body. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Ramsey was the only person involved in the wreck.

Westmoreland Coal Company owns the Rosebud Mine and is based in Englewood, Colorado. The company issued the following statement on Sunday.

"On Saturday, May 6th, 2017, one of Westmoreland Coal Company's miners died in a tragic truck accident at the Rosebud Mine in Colstrip, MT. The cause of the accident is currently under investigation and MSHA is onsite. Operations in the vicinity of the incident have been suspended pending investigation. Westmoreland expresses its deepest sympathies to the friends and families of our fallen team member. The safety and well-being of our team members continues to be Westmoreland’s top priority. We will provide updates as information becomes available."

Gary Kohn, Westmoreland's chief financial officer, said the United States Department of Labor Mining Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death. He declined to comment on the circumstances of the crash.

"At this point the investigation is underway with MSHA and our internal investigation," Kohn said. "I don’t want to speculate or comment until we have a full understanding of what happened."

Western Energy Company – Rosebud Mine

Western Energy Company – Rosebud Mine is a 25,000-acre surface mine complex located in the northern Powder River Basin near Colstrip, Montana, and the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. Rosebud is a large operation with three active pits and supplies almost all of its current production to the four-unit 2,100 megawatt Colstrip Power Station that is adjacent to the mine and was specifically designed to burn Rosebud coal.

Coal is sold to the Colstrip Station under two long-term contracts. Colstrip Station is one of the region’s most cost-efficient and cleanest power plants, which should help it maintain a base-load position on the electricity dispatch curve, and ensure continued strong demand for Rosebud coal. The Rosebud Mine produces approximately ten to thirteen million tons per year.

Westmoreland Coal Company began mining in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in 1854 as a Pennsylvania corporation. In 1910, we incorporated in Delaware and continued our focus on underground coal operations in Pennsylvania and the Appalachian Basin. We moved our headquarters from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Colorado in 1995. Today, we are an energy company with 17 coal mines in the U.S. and Canada, a stake in an activated carbon plant and char production facility and two coal-fired power generation units. Our headquarters are located in Englewood, Colorado and we have approximately 3,100 employees.

We believe we are now the sixth largest North American coal producer (as measured by 2013 production of nearly 52 million tons, including Sherritt 2013 production), and we believe that we are the largest dragline operator among North American coal producers with 29 draglines owned or operated. We produce and sell thermal coal primarily to investment grade power plants under long-term cost-protected contracts, as well as to industrial customers and barbeque briquettes manufacturers. We operate 13 surface mines and a 50% interest in an activated carbon plant and char production facility. 

Our U.S. coal operations are located in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and Texas. Our Canadian coal operations are located in Alberta and Saskatchewan. We own a thermal coal export mine with production capacity of three million tonnes per annum and with established sales to the Asian markets. We also operate two coal-fired power generating units in North Carolina with a total capacity of approximately 230 megawatts.

Westmoreland is publicly traded on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol WLB and has over 16 million shares of common stock outstanding.