This page was created by Nicole Flohr, Lakeview Elementary School.


Rochelle Coal Mine began operating in 1985. This mine is a truck and shovel operation. Rochelle has permission to mine up to 30 million tons of coal annually. In 1995 this mine was the second largest producer of coal in the United States, producing 26 million tons with 265 employees.

Currently they employ 290 men and women. Rochelle's maintenance and production crews work 12-hour rotating shifts while the pit crews work a 10-hour shift. Rochelle produces an average of 337 tons of coal per employee shift. This is ten times greater than the average coal mine in the United States. They have two silos that hold 15,000 tons of coal each and a storage facility that holds 55,000 tons of coal.

At Rochelle safety always comes first. In 1995 Rochelle operated 697,000 employee hours without a lost time accident, or 482 days of operating safely. In 1993, Rochelle Mine was the first runner-up for the Sentinels of Safety Award which recognizes the safest coal mine in the United States. The reason Rochelle was the first runner-up instead of the winner is the fact that the winning mine had worked more hours.

Return to Powder River Coal Company Homepage.