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Safety, preservation and teamwork lead to an award-filled weekend for Coeur Rochester

For the 40th consecutive year, miners from all over the world gathered at the Nevada Mining Association’s Annual Convention at Lake Tahoe. The convention encouraged attendees to participate in informative learning sessions, networking opportunities, and fun-filled celebrations – including the awards banquet.

This year, five Coeur Rochester employees were the recipients of the coveted Nevada Mining Association’s Safety Recognition Awards. Rich Wagner, James Polanco, John Willms, Misty Ruttenbur and Herman Mercado received top safety honors for their roles in safety at Rochester in 2017. These individuals promote safety in a positive and relatable fashion within their workplace.

“I promote safety by empowering my employees through clear expectations and proactive training in safety. This includes the ability to stop work if unsafe conditions exist. Safety is my first priority,” states James Polanco, General Process Foreman at Rochester.

These safety awards recognize the men and women who do great work every day, while exemplifying mining’s dedication to workplace safety. At Rochester, safety goes above and beyond each person as an individual – it’s a conscious team effort by everyone on site. This effort also promotes a duty of care mentality, which encourages employees to not only look out for themselves, but also their coworkers.

“I strive to show my concern for the well-being of my co-workers, as well as myself when I am at work,” says Misty Ruttenbur, HR Representative and award-winner. “I work to inspire confidence in our safety culture by being enthusiastic and resourceful in in my approach with each employee. I do my best to understand the people factor that drives actions and focus on discussing safety issues that each employee finds a personal interest in.”

These safety awards have a great impact on the recipients and their beliefs in safety. Polanco and Ruttenbur each spoke of the significance these awards mean to not only them, but also their families.

“Winning this award is a proud moment in my career - I am a third-generation miner and to share this with my father is priceless. Safety has allowed me to enjoy a long-lasting and satisfying career in mining,” Polanco shared. “I have been able to translate the safe behavior that I have learned into how I raised my children and taught them to look at each situation from a safety standpoint. It has served them well and has helped them be successful through many situations. It goes without saying that success in life and career is a consequence of safe behavior.”

Safety awards weren’t the only form of awards distributed at the banquet. Coeur Rochester was also the recipient of the Excellence in Nevada Mine Reclamation Award for Cooperative Partnership in Preservation of Mining History. A team of individuals at Rochester identified a need to preserve the rich mining history of the Rochester Mining District from 1860’s and created a plan.

Coeur Rochester has long been involved with conserving and interpreting the significance of the historical sites that have been disturbed by its operations and conveying this history to the public. Rochester has assisted the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) annually during its Lovelock Cave Days event for over 13 years and contributed a permanent Historic Rochester Mining District exhibit to the Marzen House Museum. The Cave Days event educates students on the local cultural and natural resources while promoting stewardship and conservation. Fourth-grade students from Humboldt, Pershing, and Washoe County schools participate in the hands-on learning experience at the Museum, one of the most important archeological sites in the Great Basin located on public land and managed by the BLM.

“Rochester believes that conserving the history of historical sites is an important part of everyday business. Most importantly, Rochester believes that this history needs to not only be conserved but passed on to the public so that everyone can share in the history that makes America what it is today,” says Gina Hawkins, Senior Environmental Coordinator at Rochester.

Hawkins was instrumental in the implementation of this partnership and award-winning project. Hawkins and the Rochester team worked closely with Peggy McGuckian from the BLM in Nevada. “We appreciate the cooperative relationship that we have enjoyed with Coeur Rochester over the years in protecting, interpreting and sharing with the public our rich cultural heritage,” stated McGuckian in a letter of support for Rochester’s nomination for this award.

As a valued member of Pershing County for over 30 years, Coeur Rochester understands the impact they have on the area. The combined efforts of the entire Rochester team add great value to the Lovelock area.

For more information about Rochester, visit their webpage – http://coeur.com/operations/mines/rochester-nevada/