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Release Date: 10/28/09
Contacts: Vickie Briggs , 202-912-7411  

BLM Announces 2009 Reclamation and Sustainable Mineral Development Award Winners

Washington, D.C. – The Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey today announced the winners of the 2009 BLM Reclamation and Sustainable Mineral Development Awards. The awards recognize the efforts made in implementing the principles of sustainable development, a concept adopted by the United States and 192 other countries, to balance environmental, economic, and social considerations in planning for mining operations.

For this year’s award program, the BLM awarded prizes in three of the five award categories. The 2009 BLM Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award winner is Kinross Gold Corporation’s DeLamar Mine. The winner of the 2009 BLM Hardrock Small Operator Award is Mike Price. A new category for 2009 is the Fix A Shaft Today! – or FAST! Award – and this year there are two winners: the Nevada Operating Engineers Union Joint Apprenticeship Committee for Northern Nevada and the California Department of Conservation’s Abandoned Mine Lands Unit.
 “These awards are all about development that meets the non-fuel mineral needs of the present generation, without compromising the needs of future generations,” Director Abbey said. “All of this year’s winners illustrate the BLM’s concept of sustainable development,” he added. “Thanks to their efforts, the public lands will continue to provide a range of resources.”
Abbey presented the awards to the winners today at a joint BLM and Office of Surface Mining awards dinner hosted by the National Mining Association in Washington, D.C.  For details about the award winners, select this link.
First presented in 2003, the BLM Sustainable Mineral Development awards are similar to the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining annual awards for excellence in coal mining reclamation. The BLM’s hardrock mining awards enable the Department of Interior to showcase some of the finest examples of responsible mineral development by the industrial- and metallic-minerals industry, as well as sand-and-gravel operators. The possible awards fall into five categories:
  • The BLM Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award highlights the component of sustainable development that relates to environmental stewardship. The award acknowledges operators with exceptional track records of meeting or exceeding Federal, State, or local reclamation requirements. 
  • The BLM Hardrock Mineral Community Outreach and Economic Security Award highlights the component of sustainable development that relates to concern shown for community responsibilities and the economic benefits of mineral development, with an emphasis on successful coordination with local and regional stakeholders.
  • The BLM Small Operator Award recognizes achievements in environmental stewardship of operators with less than 15 employees. Like the BLM Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award, this award recognizes operators who have demonstrated continuous or repeated efforts to successfully meet or exceed Federal, State or local reclamation requirements. 
  • The BLM Hardrock Mineral Director’s Award may be presented in recognition of outstanding achievement in a particular area of sustainable development.
  • The BLM “Fix A Shaft Today!” (“FAST!”) Award recognizes active participation in the FAST! Campaign, which is a partnership initiative aimed at eradicating unsafe abandoned mine land features, especially open mine shafts.
Nominations for this year’s BLM hardrock mining awards were first screened by BLM State Office officials, who forwarded the applications to BLM Headquarters for final judging by a panel that included people from outside the BLM. Detailed information on the winners is attached.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

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Last updated: 06-08-2010