IMA-NA mine safety award honorees revealed

By |  September 21, 2021

The Industrial Minerals Association – North America IMA-NA logo

Four companies and three individual mining operations were honored with the Safety Achievement Award from the Industrial Minerals Association – North America (IMA-NA) at the association’s annual meeting.

The awards program is run in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA), and awards were presented by IMA-NA chairman Doug Smith and president Chris Greissing.

The award recognizes the best reportable injury rate for an individual IMA-NA member company by size category for the preceding calendar year and evaluates a company’s safety performance at all of its mines. This year’s awards covered 2020.

In the large category, Ciner Wyoming of Green River, Wyoming, was recognized. Old Hickory Clay Co. in Mayfield, Kentucky, was recognized from the medium category, and Vanderbilt Minerals in Norwalk, Connecticut, received the award in the small category.

IMA-NA adds that medium category company American Gilsonite Co. in Bonanza, Utah, will receive a certificate for operating all of its mines with zero injuries throughout 102,194 employee work hours.

“The safety performance of these IMA members is truly inspiring,” Greissing says.

Greissing adds that Ciner Wyoming worked 751,816 employee hours with two injuries for an injury rate of 0.53 per 200,000 employee work hours. Old Hickory Clay Co. had zero injuries over 198,844 employee work hours for an injury rate of 0 per 200,000 employee work hours. Vanderbilt Minerals also had a zero-injury rate, while working 62,091 employee work hours.

“To put that into perspective, the injury rate for all metal and nonmetal mines was 1.83,” Greissing says.

Adds Smith: “MSHA and IMA-NA strive to help the industry achieve its ultimate goal – sending safe and healthy miners home to their families every shift, every day,” he says. “We’re pleased to recognize IMA-NA member companies that have compiled excellent safety records and who serve as examples for other companies.”

The three individual mining operations that were recognized each had an injury rate of 0 per 200,000 employee work hours in 2020.

Imerys Refractory Minerals (Mulcoa Plant – Andersonville) in Sumter, Georgia, won in the large category (700,000 or more employee hours); KaMin (Macon Site) in Twiggs, Georgia, won in the medium category (between 100,000 and 700,000 employee hours); and Vanderbilt Minerals (Gouverneur Minerals) in St. Lawrence, New York, was recognized in the small category (fewer than 100,000 employee hours).

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Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor of Pit & Quarry and Editor-in-Chief of Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or

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