CONSOL Energy Unveils the Country's First Underground Training Academy

PR Newswire

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CONSOL Energy's (CNX) Bailey mine in Greene County, PA today hosted Pennsylvania Coal Alliance chief executive officer John Pippy and several senior company executives at a formal unveiling of CONSOL Energy's new Underground Training Academy. 

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During a press briefing preceding today's tour of the training facility, CONSOL Energy president Nicholas J. DeIuliis noted that the Underground Training Academy, which is part of the Bailey Mine complex, the company's largest underground mining operation, is adjacent to the Bailey mine expansion (BMX) mine.  Capital investment in the new mine, which is scheduled to begin operations in spring of 2014 and will produce 5 million tons per year of high-vol or thermal coal at low-cost, is expected to total $710 million.

Officially opened in March 2012, the underground training facility is the first of its kind dedicated to coal mining in the United States and was built to enhance CONSOL Energy's core value of safety.  To date 204 miners have completed the program with 350 forecasted to finish by the end of the year. The first group of trainees to complete the program was CONSOL Energy's frontline supervisory workforce. 

"As CONSOL Energy approaches its 150th anniversary, it is remarkable to see how technology and innovation have dramatically transformed the mining industry, its safety measures, and how coal is delivered to energy markets.  Preparing the workforce of tomorrow to do our work safely will allow CONSOL Energy to continue to push the envelope and drive improvement into our next 150 years," commented DeIuliis.  "This facility is unique to our industry and demonstrates, clearly, our commitment to our top core value of safety.  It also amplifies our history of innovation here at the Bailey complex.  Over the last five years, we have seen steady progress through our safety initiatives – and this academy will help continue that trend."

"It's a simple equation: energy equals jobs," stated John Pippy, chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance. "Pennsylvania's coal industry is a world leader in employee safety, and this new facility is sure to raise the bar even higher."

In addition to two fully-equipped classrooms where students are provided on-the-job technical and hazard awareness training designed to improve their safety performance and compliance skills, the Underground Training Academy features a fully operational underground section of the Bailey Mine dedicated solely to the training and development of CONSOL mining employees.  This aspect of the training provides hands-on equipment training in a controlled environment by experienced CONSOL employees.  Over the course of the 5 day program employees are trained to operate a continuous mining machine, a miner bolter machine, a loading machine, a shuttle car and a section scoop.    Attendees learn section standards and train using a structured, step-by-step process under the direction of CONSOL instructors who individually have over 30 years of safe and successful underground experience. 

During the tour of the facility, CONSOL Energy vice president of PA Coal Operations David Aloia provided an overview of the Bailey Mining Complex as well as background on the development of the Underground Training Academy while current students and instructors discussed their experiences and what they expect to gain from the training program.  The attendees were also provided an up-close view of the continuous mining machine, miner bolter machine, loading machine, shuttle car and section scoop that are used in the hand's on training.

About CONSOL Energy

CONSOL Energy Inc. (CNX) is a Pittsburgh-based producer of coal and natural gas. It has 12 bituminous coal mining complexes in four states and reports proven and probable coal reserves of 4.2 billion tons.  The company's premium Appalachian coals are sold worldwide to electricity generators and steelmakers. In natural gas, CONSOL Energy has transformed itself from a pure-play coalbed methane producer to a full-fledged exploration and production company. The company is a leading producer in the Marcellus Shale and is transitioning its active exploration program into development mode in the Utica Shale.  CONSOL Energy has proved natural gas reserves of 4.0 trillion cubic feet. Operational safety is the company's top core value and CONSOL Energy boasts a record of almost two times better than the industry average for underground bituminous coal mines.   CONSOL Energy is a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 Equity Index and the Fortune 500. Additional information about CONSOL Energy can be found at its Web site: www.consolenergy.com.

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