Apply for an award. The deadline to apply for an award is Friday, November 5, 2021 at 11:59pm All award applications must be submitted through our awards application portal: alabamaminingawards.awardstage.com

We hope to see you at AMA’s 2021 Safety & Sustainability Awards Dinner on November 16, 2021 at The Club in Birmingham. For more information, see our events page.

 Sustainability Awards

This award is open to all AMA mining members who have conducted stream or wetland mitigation required under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act under a nationwide or individual permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Eligible mitigation projects include on-site and off-site permittee responsible mitigation as well as mitigation conducted through the purchase of credits from an approved mitigation bank.

Stream and wetland mitigation conducted under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act provides compensation for unavoidable impacts to aquatic resources by ensuring that these actives do not result in a net loss of these important ecological resources. Through mitigation, aquatic resource that have been negatively impacted prior to the enactment of mitigation requirements are restored, enhanced, and protected for the benefit of the environment and future generations.

An ideal candidate for this award is a mitigation project that highlights the ecological and social benefits of this permitting program and increases the public’s awareness and appreciation for this permitting program.

In assessing the applicants for this award, judges should consider the following:

  • What ecological resources are being restored, enhanced, and protected as a result of the mitigation project?
  • How will restoration of these aquatic and ecological resources correct existing environmental degradation and prevent future negative impacts?
  • Will the mitigation project enhance or protect any uniquely sensitive or imperiled aquatic resources or wildlife species?
  • Does the mitigation project support an economic or social benefit for the local community or surrounding region?

This award is open to all AMA members who own or manage land where mining has occurred or is currently being conducted.

Alabama’s abundant wildlife resources are valuable our state’s economy, culture, and quality of life. While wildlife and mining operations typically co-exist with one another, mining companies often have an opportunity to enhance wildlife habits both during the mining process and through the reclamation process. Through diligent planning and collaboration with wildlife agencies or private wildlife biologists, mining companies have an opportunity to enrich the wildlife habit and recreational opportunities on a piece of property. By doing so, mining companies also have a chance to increase the post-mining value of the land and provide long-term benefits to the local economy, especially in rural areas where recreational hunting and fishing opportunities support local businesses and increase local tax revenues.

An ideal candidate for this award is a piece of property where a mining company has exceeded its environmental stewardship obligations by enhancing the wildlife habitat or aquatic resources in a manner that has increased or is expected to increase the recreational hunting, fishing, or wildlife viewing opportunities.

In assessing the applicants for this award, judges should consider the following:

  • What is the cumulative benefit this project will provide for wildlife or aquatic resources, recreational resource users, neighboring landowners, the local economy, and the surrounding community?
  • What obstacles or technical challenges had to be overcome to make the project possible?
  • Will the project foster cooperation or synergy with other landowners or resource managers?
  • Is there a cultural or historical significance to the project?

This award is open to all AMA mining members who own or manage land where mining has occurred or is currently being conducted.  The land stewardship recognized by this award can be completed, ongoing, or planned for future completion as demonstrated by the mining and reclamation plans.

Land stewardship is a core value of sustainability and recognizes our collective responsibility to promote the wise use of our natural resources. Mining by its nature is a temporary use of land similar to that of harvesting timber or using land for an agricultural purpose.

Mining companies can demonstrate land stewardship through thoughtful planning and consideration to post-mining land use contemplated in their reclamation plan or in their decisions to exceed setback requirements, preserve existing land features, or not mine particular areas. Land stewardship can also be demonstrated by the remining of land that was previously mined prior to the enactment of today’s rigorous reclamation requirements, which ensure that land is returned to its original proximate contour and any existing environmental or safety hazards are corrected.

In assessing the applicants for this award, judges should consider the following:

  • What actions were taken to improve or preserve the property?
  • What are the long-term environmental or economic benefits of the land stewardship project?
  • Did the project exceed the mining company’s minimum regulatory obligation?
  • Will the project correct any preexisting environmentaldegradation or safety hazard that otherwise would have not been addressed?
  • Did the project require the use of any advanced, novel, or experimentalengineering or construction techniques?

This award is open to all AMA members engaged in active mining, post mining reclamation, the processing of mined materials or the operation of a manufacturing facility with a mining nexus. The water stewardship recognized by this award can be completed, ongoing, or currently under construction.

Abundant surface and ground water is one of Alabama’s most important natural resources. Mining companiesfollow rigorous regulations to ensure that water quality is protected during the mining process and throughout the process of preparing mined material. Technology that protects water quality is also utilized at many modern manufacturing facilities, such as those that produce products used for mining and those that convert minded materials into marketable products.

A mining company might demonstrate water quality stewardship by incorporating additional setbacks into a mining plan, utilizing advanced stormwater management techniques, or designing sediment basins or retention ponds that exceed regulatory requirements.  Water quality stewardship might be demonstrated by a manufacturing facility or prep plant operator through the utilization of advanced water treatment technology or the incorporation of process water reuse systems or the incorporation of technology that reduces the quantity of treated wastewater that is discharged into surface waters.

In assessing the applicants for this award, judges should consider the following:

  • To what extent has the nominated mining operation or manufacturing facility exceeded the minimum requirements necessary to adhere to their regulatory requirements?
  • Did the nominated mining operation or manufacturing facility use advanced technology, or novel engineering concepts to reduce their water use footprint or improve the quality of discharged water?
  • Were voluntary actions taken that increased costs or reduced productivity to improve or protect water quality?
  • How will this water quality stewardship project benefit the environment or the people and communities who use the local water resources?

This award is open to all AMA mining members with an active or completed mine reclamation project.

The legal obligation to reclaim all current and future land used for mining and mining related infrastructure ensures that mining is only a temporary use of the land, which will be returned to its proximate original contourand revegetated or reforested. Mining companies must post bonds prior to the commencement of mining operations, which ensures that the land will be reclaimed even if the permitted mining company becomes insolvent.

Reclamation ensures that all land used for mining is returned to its original state and capable of supporting the land use that existed prior to mining. However, mining companies often improve the condition beyond what is required.

An ideal candidate for this award is a reclamation project that highlights the long-term benefits of reclamation following the temporary use of land for mining.

In assessing the applicants for this award, judges should consider the following:

  • What are the mining company’s legal and regulatory obligation to reclaim the property?
  • How well has the reclamation project achieved its fundamental purpose of preventing erosion or environmental degradation?
  • Has the mining company exceeded their basic reclamation requirement?
  • Were innovative practices or novel methods used to complete this reclamation project?
  • What obstacles or technical challenges had to be overcome to complete the project?
  • After the completion of reclamation, how will the land be used? Will it be used for timber production, farming, hunting, fishing, recreation, residential or commercial construction?
  • What actions were taken to convert the site to its post-mining land use?
  • Will the post-mining land use enabled by this reclamation project benefit neighboring landowners, the surrounding community, or the local economy?

This award is open to any individual currently employed by or who has retired from an AMA mining member or associate member. Individuals eligible for this award include mining company employees, third-party professional service providers, or those employed in a consulting role. An ideal candidate for this award is an environmental manager, environmental engineer, permit manager, or other professional responsible for regulatory compliance, reclamation, permitting, or emergency response related to environmental compliance. Potential candidates can also include professionals responsible for the design or implementation of BMPs, water treatment, environmental controls, or work related to stream or wetland mitigation and restoration.

This award recognizes an individual whose career has been dedicated to managing or leading the environmental affairs for a mining company. Complying with complex environmental regulations is a challenging task that requires the dedication of a competent and dedicated professional. Over the course of one’s career, standards change and require an environmental professional to continuously adapt and innovate. The responsibilities of this role are demanding. An environmental professional must be proactive, vigilant, and ready to respond to an emergency 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The success of a mining operation depends on this individual.

In assessing the applicants for this award, judges should consider the following:

  • How many years has the nominee worked in the mining industry as an environmental professional?
  • How complex or demanding is the nominee’s area of responsibility?
  • How have the regulatory obligations and regulatory oversight for a mining company increased during the nominee’s tenure?
  • What is the cumulative responsibility of the nominee?

This award is open to all mining companies operating or permitting a mine in the state of Alabama – both AMA members and nonmembers.  Nominees for this award will be judged by the President of the Alabama Mining Association

Every mining company in Alabama plays a role in shaping the public’s perception of our state’s mining industry. Each mining company has a responsibility to invest the time and effort necessary to earn the trust of the citizens in the community where they operate. This award recognizes a mining company that demonstrates an exemplary commitment to their community and the people who call it home.

An ideal candidate for this award is a mining company that has demonstrated care for the local community where they operate. Regardless of their size, a mining company can show their community they care by meeting unmet needs, both big and small. Examples include volunteering time, donating materials, or providing financial resources to support a cause valued by the community.

Nominees for this award will be judged based on the level of care and commitment to the well-being of the local community demonstrated by the mining company.

Safety Awards

This award is open to all individuals currently employed by an AMA mining or associate member.

Working in Alabama’s mining industry is a safe and rewarding career path thanks, in part, to the strong culture of safety that exists at our state’s mining operations. Today, mining companies utilize state-of-the-art technology and the latest behavioral science to continuously advance the equipment and practices that keep miners safe. Federal and state agencies verify that the stringent mine safety laws and regulations are being followed through frequent mine site inspections.

One of the most important components of mine safety is training. Safety training in the mining industry is conducted continuously to ensure that safety remains the top priority for both new and veteran miners.

This award recognizes the dedicated mine safety and training professionals who work tirelessly to equip miners with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their jobs safely and successfully.

In assessing the applicants for this award, judges should consider the following:

  • In what ways has the nominated mine safety and training professional demonstrated leadership and a dedication to mine safety that exceed expectations?
  • Does the nominee have a unique or notable mine safety philosophy or training style?
  • In what ways does the nominee help create or contribute to a culture of safety?

This award is open to all AMA mining and associate members.

Alabama’s mining companies strive to prevent all lost time accidents or injuries. However, if accidents or injuries occur at or around a mining operation, a thorough investigation is conducted to determine what actions caused or contributed to the incident. This process often yields insights and information that can be used to enhance training or develop new safety programs that will help prevent future occurrences.

Proactive surveillance and safety audits are also used to identify potential hazards or practices that could lead to injury. For example, a review of the techniques used to complete a repetitive or strenuous task may reveal a risk of lower back injury, which can be prevented through additional training. Or a review of personal protective equipment performance may reveal the availability of a product better suited for a particular set of mining conditions.

This award highlights a safety or training initiative that demonstrates the mining industry’s unwavering commitment to protecting the health and wellbeing of their employees.

In assessing the applicants for this award, judges should consider the following:

  • Is this a proactive or innovative approach to mine safety or training?
  • How much foresight or research was required to develop this initiative?
  • What are the long-term health and safety benefits of this initiative?

This award is open to all employees of AMA mining members and will be awarded to each individual miner who has worked for 25 or more years without a lost time accident.

Safety and accident prevention is the goal of all miners and mining companies. Achieving this goal requires a level of dedication to safety that exceeds that required by most professions. Each miner is responsible for ensuring their own personal health and safety as well as the safety of their coworkers. This commitment to safety requires miners to develop an uncommon level of discipline that allows them to remain focused and capable of evaluating potential hazards even in the most challenging conditions.

Mining companies strive to create a culture of safety that places the health and safety of their employees as the top priority. To be successful, a culture of safety must be modeled by the experienced team members that newer miners look to as their example and their professional mentors.

This award recognizes the miners who have worked for 25 or more years without a lost time accident. By reaching this milestone, these miners have not only kept themselves and the miners they have worked alongside safe, but they have also demonstrated what an unwavering commitment to safety on the job looks like for the next generation of miners.

Each miner nominated for this award, upon confirmation of their 25 or more years without a lost time accident, will be recognized with this award.

This award is open to all current or retired employees of AMA mining and associate members.

Mine safety and the advancement of the training programs that equip miners to perform their jobs safely is a task that will never be complete. For the dedicated professionals who make ensuring or teaching mine safety their lifelong career, change is the only constant.

The training programs, practices, and protective equipment that help keep miners safe are always evolving. This requires mine safety and training professionals to adapt to change quickly. At the same time, these professionals must be consistent and precise when helping miners understand the fundamentals of safety and teaching them how to comply with complex safety regulations. For the men and women who serve in this roll, it is both a career and a calling.

This award honors a devoted individual that has dedicated their career to keeping miners safe.

In assessing the applicants for this award, judges should consider the following:

  • How many years has the nominee worked in the mining industry as a safety or training professional?
  • How many miners per year is the nominee responsible for training or otherwise overseeing in a mine safety capacity?
  • How have mine safety regulations changed or increased during the nominee’s tenure?
  • In what ways has this mine safety or training professional demonstrated a significant commitment to ensuring the safety of miners?

This award is open to all mining companies operating or permitting a mine in the state of Alabama as well as contractors serving the state’s mining industry – both AMA members and nonmembers.  Nominees for this award will be judged by the President of the Alabama Mining Association.

The culture of safety that exists in Alabama’s mining industry is often a well-kept secret. Those of us that work in the mining industry know that safety is the top priority at a mining operation. Mining companies continuously communicate about safety internally, however, there is typically very little external communication about safety. AMA’s goal is to shift this paradigm.

Mining companies have an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to being socially responsible by meeting with members of the community to discuss safety. Members of the community will be reassured by the actions currently being taken to ensure their safety. Additionally, mining companies will be able to improve their community safety plan by considering the recommendations provided by community members.

The need to feel safe, especially in the places we call home, is a universal need. It’s also an opportunity for mining companies to earn public trust. This award recognizes the efforts of a mining company or contractor whose actions have demonstrated their commitment to community safety.