Company: News & Events

Usibelli Coal Mine achieves 2 years with zero lost time accidents


Healy, AK – On Wednesday, January 30, Usibelli Coal Mine (UCM) achieved two years of operations without a single lost time accident (LTA), a job-related injury that results in time away from work. UCM’s safety program, Everyday Safety—At Work. At Home. At Play., combined with the CORE Safety framework of the National Mining Association lays the foundation to make safety a core value for all mine employees. 

“The number one priority at UCM is safety – every day, and in everything we do,” said UCM president and CEO, Joe Usibelli Jr. “We have 98 employees who have worked safely for more than 372,000 hours. That’s a remarkable achievement, and I am very proud of our team.”

In addition to keeping employees safe on the job, UCM promotes a safety culture that extends beyond the workplace. “Our concern for employee health, safety and welfare goes beyond our mining operations. If someone gets hurt at home, on the road, or participating in a recreational activity, we feel it at the mine and in the community too,” said Usibelli.       

UCM operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with heavy equipment in a remote area of Alaska. “When you consider the harsh environment that our miners operate in—wind, rain, snow, and 40 below—our employees have to be extremely diligent to work safely,” said Matt Nelson, UCM human resources and safety director. In an effort to prevent injuries, UCM responds to safety suggestions through the use of hazard recognition cards, holds regular safety meetings and trainings, promotes safe practices throughout all areas of the mine site and encourages employees to maintain clean and organized workspaces.

The mine’s all-time safety record was set in 2006 at 797 days without a lost time accident. “We’ve set our sights on surpassing that number, because there is no higher priority than protecting our employees and their families,” Usibelli said.

About Usibelli Coal Mine
Founded in 1943 by Emil Usibelli, Usibelli Coal Mine is located near the town of Healy and is 115 miles south of Fairbanks and 250 miles north of Anchorage adjacent to the Parks Highway and Alaska Railroad. UCM currently has a workforce of 98 employees, and operates year-round. Mine production has grown from 10,000 tons in 1943 to approximately 1-million tons of coal per year. Currently the only operational coal mine in Alaska, UCM is supported by the most modern mining equipment and state-of-the-art engineering. Today, UCM supplies coal to five Interior Alaska power plants and over the years has exported coal to Chile, South Korea, Japan and several other Pacific Rim destinations. For more information, please visit


For more information, contact Lisa Herbert, vice president of public relations at 907-347-8006 (cell) or

Usibelli Coal Mine Applauds Congress for Quashing Anti-Coal Mining Rule

Alaska delegation votes to protect state's rights and mining jobs

(HEALY, Alaska)?This week the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives took action to nullify the Obama administration's Stream Rule. ?Once touted as a 'Stream Protection Rule' by the former administration and anti-coal advocates, coal states across the country, as well as the coal mining industry, vigorously opposed the regulation which had nothing to do with protecting streams. Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc. advocated against the rule for close to six years.

U.S. Rep. Don Young voted in favor of the resolution earlier this week, on the House floor. Congressman Young has been a steadfast supporter of responsible resource development, particularly the development of Alaska's coal resources.

Today on the Senate floor, Alaska's senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan each spoke in support of the resolution to nullify the senseless rule, and spoke in support of states'?rights, coal mining jobs, and against unnecessary overregulation by the federal government.

Senator Murkowski noted in her remarks that, although the name of the rule seemed innocent, helpful and innocuous, its effects on the nation's coal industry would have been devastating. Senator Sullivan urged his colleagues to eliminate the harmful Stream Rule, and show support for America's coal miners and their families.

The Stream Rule, as crafted by the Obama Administration, was a one-size-fits-all approach to regulating surface coal mining in America. The regulation, in violation of Section 708 of the 1977 federal Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act, failed to recognize the unique conditions of Alaska's coal mining environments and therefore created unattainable standards.

"The rule disregarded states' rights and their primacy over coal programs; it was a solution in search of a problem that was not crafted with stream protection in mind,"? stated Joe Usibelli, President of Usibelli Coal Mine. "The rule provides no discernable environmental benefits, while duplicating and interfering with existing state and federal rules that already provide robust protections for water quality and natural habitats" he added.

Following the nullification of this rule, the protection of the nation's streams and the regulation of coal mining will still be managed under the existing regulations within the federal Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement, and the laws of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.? Oversight of mining activities in Alaska will still occur under the State's regulatory program, the Alaska Surface Coal Mining Control and Reclamation Act.

The resolution will now go to the President for his signature.



Usibelli Coal Mine Opposes Anti-Coal Stream Rule

Rule is duplicative to existing environmental protections

HEALY?? As the U.S. Department of Interior today finalized yet another anti-coal measure during the waning days of the Obama administration, Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc. (UCM) expressed its strong opposition to the stream rule.

?Clearly, the Obama administration?s stream rule was not crafted with Alaska in mind. It appears to be a rule targeting the Appalachian region, and was then smeared across the country all the way up to Alaska. The stream rule completely ignores Alaska?s unique conditions and disregards the need for special considerations with respect to surface coal mining operations in our state,? said Joe Usibelli, Jr. President and CEO of UCM.

?The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act allows states to have primacy over their coal programs. However, the stream rule robs states of their discretion. I am confident that a blanket, one-size-fits-all permit cannot be properly applied to all regions of the country. The regions are the experts. The State of Alaska is better suited to determine Alaska?s unique coal mining conditions than a bureaucrat in Washington D.C.,? Usibelli added.

UCM is currently reviewing the 1,648-page pre-publication version of the stream rule. An initial review indicates that the final rule reflects the onerous provisions and many of the same pernicious details contained in the proposed rule published in July 2015.
?The fact that the Obama administration?s own calculations praise the expected annual loss of coal mining jobs, while increasing bureaucratic jobs for additional regulators shows an absolute disconnect with the reality of a productive economy,? Usibelli stated.

?I have spoken with Senators Murkowski, Sullivan, and Congressman Young and have asked them to swiftly pass a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval for the stream rule,? he stated.

The rule, which the Trump Administration has said it opposes and will act to rescind, provides no discernable environmental benefits while duplicating and interfering with extensive existing environmental protections at both the federal and state levels?duplication and interference which is expressly prohibited under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.

For more information, contact Lorali Simon at (907) 745-6028,


UCM Corporate Sponsor of UAF Athletics

UAF Men's Basketball Sponsor 9 January 2016

Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc. is a long-time supporter and sponsor of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. During 2015 - 2016, UCM provided sponsorship to all ten athletic programs. UAF Assistant Athletic Director, Zachary Hurst pictured on the right, recognized UCM during the Men's Basketball game on 9 January 2016 by presenting a certificate of appreciation to Bill Brophy, UCM VP Customer Relations.

Photo courtesy of Paul McCarthy, UAF. 


Emil Usibelli Awards 2015

Joe Usibelli Jr. attends UAF Awards Ceremony

The Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching, Research and Service Awards are considered one of the university’s most prestigious awards. They represent UAF’s tripartite mission and are funded annually from an endowment established by Usibelli Coal Mine in 1992.

Each year, a committee including members from the faculty, the student body and a member of the UA Foundation Board of Trustees evaluates the nominees. Each winner receives a cash award of $10,000.

David Newman, professor of physics, received the teaching award; Hajo Eicken, professor of geophysics, received the research award; and Pat Holloway, professor of horticulture, received the service award. All three were honored at a reception at UAF on 19 November 2015.

Photo courtesy Todd Paris, UAF.

Pictured left to right: Joe Usibelli Jr., President Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc.; Dr. Susan Henrichs, Provost; Pat Holloway, Emil Usibelli Award recipient; and Mike Powers, Interim Chancellor.