Contura’s Running Right Leadership Academy Honored for Health and Safety Operational Excellence

BRISTOL, Tenn., February 22, 2017 – Contura Energy, Inc. announced today that the Running Right Leadership Academy (RRLA), owned by Contura Energy Services, LLC, has received the Health & Safety Operational Excellence Award from the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME).  The award recognizes exemplary occupational health and safety management performance and practices, and the honor was formally presented during the SME annual meeting in Denver.

According to the SME, eligibility for the award includes performance in accordance with certain health and safety metrics as well as documentation of the organization’s approach to operational management in a number of safety and health related areas including emergency response, compliance practices, training and education.

These are factors that set the RRLA apart, according to the Academy’s director, Gary Frampton, who accepted the Operational Excellence award on behalf of the company.  “With our available training options, an underground miner can be trained on site-specific issues while just outside the door of the building, a surface miner is practicing fall rescue and recovery training,” Frampton said.  “With a hands-on approach, we retain much more of what we are taught.  At the Academy, our approach is unique to each group of miners—specific to their mine plans, seam conditions and day-to-day challenges.”

Located in Julian, W.Va., the Academy is a regional center for the advancement of mine safety, utilizing state-of-the-art simulation and training equipment to provide a safe and engaging learning environment for thousands of miners each year.  In addition to its mine-specific training, the RRLA is often utilized by local and regional groups as a meeting and conference space.

“The Academy is an exceptional, safety-focused facility with a truly unique methodology,” said Kevin Crutchfield, Contura’s chief executive officer.  “We’re honored by this award, which underscores the importance of safety training in the mining industry and specifically showcases our innovative approach in taking training to a new level.”

Contura’s affiliates acquired the Running Right Leadership Academy, along with certain coal mining assets, in the summer of 2016.  The Academy is comprised of several training labs for electrical, maintenance and welding classes in addition to a 96,000 square foot mine lab for underground, surface and preparation plant simulations.  Virtual-reality training simulators for haul trucks, roof bolters, shuttle cars and continuous mining machines are also part of the RRLA experience.


Contura Energy is a private, Tennessee-based company with affiliate mining operations across multiple major coal basins in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. With customers across the globe, high-quality reserves and significant port capacity, Contura Energy reliably supplies both metallurgical coal to produce steel and thermal coal to generate power. For more information, visit