History: Key Dates
Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc. has a rich history since its inception in 1943.
The full Usibelli Story can be found here.
|1918||Coal mining began in the vicinity of Healy.|
|1922||Austin E. "Cap" Lathrop founded Healy River Coal Corporation, the first commercial operation at Suntrana.|
Emil Usibelli arrives in Alaska to work in the Matanuska coal field at the Evan Jones Coal Mine.
Emil and Rose Usibelli (later Rose Berry) moved to Suntrana, where Emil went to work for the Healy River Coal Corporation as an underground coal miner.
Emil Usibelli starts a logging operation in Suntrana to supply timbers for the underground mines.
The Suntrana Mine and Evan Jones Mine are producing virtually all the coal being mined in Alaska.
Emil Usibelli, and partner T.E. Sandford, obtain a U.S. Army mining license and open a surface coal mine east of Suntrana. The company contracts with the Army to supply coal to the newly constructed Ladd Army Air Field (now Fort Wainwright).
Emil Usibelli purchases his partner's share and the present Usibelli Coal Mine (UCM) is incorporated in the Territory of Alaska.
Usibelli Camp is constructed about 2.5 miles east of Suntrana adjacent to UCM's mining operations.
UCM begins building year-round houses for married employees.
The City of Fairbanks Chena River Power Plant comes on line.
A two-story bunkhouse is built at Usibelli Camp to house seasonal employees.
The Eielson AFB coal burning power plant becomes operational.
A coal washing plant is built to remove rock found in coal from Seam number 2. The Usibelli Coal Sales Corporation is formed with offices located on Phillips Field Road to sell coal to retail customers in Fairbanks.
Underground mining is conducted at the Rosalie adit to supplement production from UCM's surface mining operations.
UCM purchases the Suntrana Mining Company.
Construction is completed on the Clear Air Force Station power plant.
UCM ceases underground mining operations at Suntrana.
UAF coal burning power plant comes on line.
Emil Usibelli is tragically killed in a mining accident on 27 March 1964.
Emil's 25 year-old son, Joe, takes over as President of the company.
GVEA completes construction of a 25 megawatt mine-mouth power plant in Healy.
UCM purchases the Vitro Minerals Mine becoming the only commercial coal mine operating in Alaska.
UCM begins its land reclamation program and forms a subsidiary company, Nuera Reclamation.
The Parks Highway is completed, linking Healy by road to Anchorage and Fairbanks.
UCM purchases a Bucyrus-Erie 1300W dragline with a 33 cubic yard bucket. It is delivered in parts to Healy in December.
UCM leases land from the Alaska Railroad and develops the Tri-Valley subdivision to provide modern housing for mine employees. In November, assembly of the Ace-in-the-Hole dragline is completed.
A test shipment of UCM coal sails from the Port of Anchorage bound for a potential customer in Korea.
|1981||Construction is completed on UCM's new train-loading coal tipple on the west side of the Nenana River.|
|1982||The new tipple begins operation while a load-stabilizer system is installed to eliminate power surges from the dragline. UCM establishes a regulatory compliance department to deal with the increasingly complex and numerous permitting requirements, laws and regulations.|
|1983||UCM's new office/shop complex is completed on the east bank of the Nenana River at the mouth of Hoseanna Creek. UCM purchases seven new 75-ton-capacity WABCO trucks.|
|1984||In July, UCM signs a fifteen year contract with the Suneel Shipping Company. This contract covers the export of coal to the Korea Electric Power Corporation for fueling a converted oil-fired electric power generation plant in Honam, South Korea. Construction of the Seward Coal Terminal is completed.|
|1985||In January, the first shipment of UCM coal leaves the Port of Seward for South Korea. To satisfy increased production for the Korea coal export contract, UCM's work force is increased by about 40% with the addition of 36 employees.|
|1987||Two shipments of coal are exported to Taiwan for testing by the Taiwan Power Corporation and a second shipment is sent to Japan for testing by the Electric Power Development Corporation. Joe Usibelli Jr. succeeds his father as President of UCM.|
|1988||UCM begins to replace its 75 ton capacity WABCO trucks with Dresser 325M HaulPak trucks with 95 ton capacities. UCM purchases a D11N Caterpillar, the largest dozer manufactured in the world and the first to be sold in the U.S. west of the Mississippi.|
UCM, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, Golden Valley Electric Association and engineering and technology companies, submit an application to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requesting funding of a 50 megawatt power plant in Healy under the Federal Clean Coal Technology program. In December, the DOE selects the Healy Clean Coal Project for federal funding. UCM sets a monthly coal sales record of 207,540 tons.
In April, the U.S. Congress approves the Healy Clean Coal Project. In June, UCM sets a fiscal-year production record of over 1.6 million tons. In November, cumulative coal shipments to South Korea pass the 5 million (short) ton mark.
UCM celebrates its 50th anniversary.
|1995||UCM ships a record 1.67 million tons of coal to its customers.|
|1996||In April, construction is completed on a new truck loading facility.|
|1997||During December UCM finalizes the purchase of the 8,000-acre Wishbone Hill coal mine 40 miles northeast of Anchorage near the community of Sutton. (Current surface mineable coal reserves at Wishbone Hill are estimated at 14 million tons. When washed, Wishbone Hill coal has a higher heat value than coal from UCM's Healy mine and is suitable for direct sale into domestic and international markets or as a blend with Healy coal. UCM has not yet initiated mining activity at the Wishbone Hill location.) In August, UCM acquires the largest hydraulic shovel in the state of Alaska. The O & K RH-170 shovel weighs 793,000 pounds and has a 26-cubic-yard bucket. UCM commenced operations in a new Two Bull Ridge pit, which will have a 20 to 30-year life.|
|1998||In January, the 50-megawatt Healy Clean Coal Plant begins operations. During February, UCM ships 20,000 metric tons of coal to Magadan, Russian Far East.|
|1999||The Healy Clean Coal Project completed a successful demonstration.|
|2000||In November, UCM is the successful bidder for the "Jumbo Dome" State Coal Lease, adding 12,400 acres of state leases to UCM land holdings of more than 32,500 acres. This expansion of coal reserves assists in the reduction of future mining costs. These Jumbo Dome leases are adjacent to existing UCM leases, thus greatly assuring a long-term, reliable supply of coal. Additionally in 2000 UCM purchased a Caterpillar 994D Loader with a 26 cubic-yard bucket.|
In July, UCM takes delivery of a Caterpillar D11R Carry Dozer.
|2002||During November, in a five-day period the dragline walked from Poker Flats Mine to Two Bill Ridge Mine a total of 2.5 miles.|
|2003||In July, more than 1,200 guests attend the celebration of UCM's 60th Anniversary and Grand Opening of Two Bull Ridge Mine.|
|2004||UCM began test shipments of its coal to Chile, South America, through the international coal trading company, Glencore Ltd. In March, UCM purchases a Caterpillar 992G wheeled loader. During October, UCM is recognized by Alaska Business Monthly Magazine as a Top 49 Alaskan company for 20 consecutive years.|
|2005||In January, a new Komatsu 475 bulldozer arrives and begins work at the Mine. During FY05 (July 2004 to June 2005) UCM achieves an all-time production record of 1.72 million short tons.|
|2006||On 3 April, UCM achieves an all-time No-Lost-Time-Injury safety record for 797 consecutive days (27 January 2004 through 3 April 2006). Once again, UCM is selected as a Top 49 business in Alaska (number 40). A major component of the dragline, the large steel ring (tub) is removed and replaced on-site at the mine in Healy.|
|2007||During January, The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) recognized UCM with the Business Alliance Award. The award is for outstanding efforts to partner with DLA and improve the Agency's mission - providing supplies and services to America's war fighters. DLA Director, Army Lieutenant General Robert T. Dail presented the award for Outstanding Readiness Support. Also during January, The Northwest Mining Association presented Usibelli Coal Mine an award for Environmental Stewardship.|
|2008||UCM aims to top 500,000 metric tons export including two trial shipments to new customers in Asia. UCM celebrates 65 years in business. Alan Renshaw appointed Vice President of Engineering. On 24 July the workforce achieved 420 continuous days of No Lost Time Injuries.|
|2009||Joe Usibelli Jr. was awarded the George Nehrbas Award by the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, an award for outstanding business leader of the year. UCM announces identification of 700 million tons of coal reserves at the mine in Healy, Alaska.|
|2010||Alan Renshaw appointed General Manager and VP Operations at Usibelli Coal Mine. UCM begins a Feasibility Study for the Wishbone Hill Mine located in Sutton, Alaska. Rebuild and remanufacture of a second O&K RH170 shovel is completed.|
|2011||UCM exceeds 1 million metric tons export through the Port of Seward. UCM total production of 2.2 million tons during 2011 is an all time high record. Rob Brown is designated VP South Central Operations. First annual Run of the Mine 10 kilometer race is conducted at the mine on 4 July. UCM takes delivery of the seventh Caterpillar 785 haul truck. Rebuild and remanufacture of a second O&K RH 120 backhoe is completed. Joe Usibelli honored by UAF Summer Sessions during the Legacy Lecture program. UCM employs a workforce of 138.|
|2012||UCM receives the eighth Caterpillar 785 Truck. VP Finance, Rick Hundrup retires with more than 35 years service with UCM. Glen Weaver promoted to VP Finance and CFO.|
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PO Box 1000
100 River Road
Healy, AK 99743
Tel: (907) 683-2226
Fax: (907) 683-2253
100 Cushman St., Suite. 210
Fairbanks, AK 99701-4674
Tel: (907) 452-2625
Fax: (907) 451-6543