Jim Magro’s father stated: “I’m going to be the last coal miner in this family.” He was wrong.  His son, Jim, started working in a rebuild shop when he was 16.  When he was 18 years old, he was a member of the United Mine Workers (UMWA) and a coal miner.  During his engineering studies, Jim worked every summer and Christmas break at the mines in the Morgantown area.  This experience was invaluable to Jim’s future career success as a mining industry leader.

When Jim decided on an engineering major, he chose Industrial Engineering because he liked the operations and business focus.  “I’ve always wanted to be an operations person and felt that an engineering background would help me,” Jim says.  “I felt that IE gave me the broad engineering background that I needed, but IE also had emphasis in other engineering disciplines through required courses that helped broaden my knowledge base.”

When Jim joined Consolidation Coal Company, he used his experience as a coal miner to build trust with the people he was supervising.  He learned a valuable lesson from a mentor:  “People will help you if you let them.”  Because I had been a coal miner and respected the people working for me, they helped me succeed.  My experience working during college helped me transition into an operations supervisory job in the coal industry.  My engineering degree helped me think through problems and develop creative solutions to solve them.

Jim progressed through a series of progressively higher leadership positions and finished his career at Patriot Coal Company as the Senior Vice President of Operations.  “I retired the first time at age 56 from CONSOL Energy.  I was Operating Vice President of the Ohio Valley Operations for CONSOL at the time.  CONSOL was changing to a natural gas company and, “I was offered a very attractive retirement package so I took it.” After a 2 year non-compete agreement with CONSOL, I went to work for Patriot Coal as Senior Vice President where I stayed for 6 years before retiring the second time.

When asked whether he ever felt any bias because he wasn’t a mining engineer, Jim says:  “I did, but the results I was able to achieve were considered more important.  Industrial Engineering is the perfect discipline for mining.  Whether it is designing cutting cycles, designing material handling systems, selecting appropriate equipment for various conditions, determining effective safety programs, designing management training classes and understanding the best process to help workers be more efficient and productive, Industrial Engineering gives an operations person a competitive advantage.  Knowing how to add value by improving operations productivity was the key to my success.  Industrial Engineering principals can be applied to any industry.  I liked the versatility of the degree.

Jim is very involved in his church as an elder and President of the East Richland Christin School Board in St. Clairsville, Ohio.  “I’ve been very blessed in my career, and I’ve always felt that I wanted to share the blessings I have had with others.  My faith in Jesus Christ made all the difference in my approach to business.”


James N. Magro                                              



Professional Summary


Results-driven Management Executive with over 35 years of multi-faceted coal mining experience, including operations management, engineering, business development and strategic planning.


Areas of Expertise and Experience


  • Safety – development of safety programs to reduce accidents, supervisor training, accident prevention, development of safe work instructions, federal and state mining plans.
  • Operating Systems – longwall, in-place development miners, place change miners, room and pillar, continuous haulage, draglines, stripping shovels, truck shovel, high-wall miners, and augers.
  • Productivity – hourly and salary operations personnel training and development, standard operating plans, cut cycles, overburden removal sequencing, preventative maintenance programs, optimal equipment selection for mining and material handling systems.
  • Cost Management – maintaining proper staffing at operating mines and preparation plants, controlling overtime, maintaining inventory control, eliminating waste, maintaining high productivity levels, minimizing administrative overhead, negotiating effective company wide buying strategies, efficient surface reclamation, obtaining bond releases, and long term liability reduction.
  • Engineering – mine design, ventilation plans, mine layout, belt systems, equipment specifications, roof control systems, permitting, environmental controls, preparation plant design, coal load-out design, major capital projects and quality channel sampling and drilling programs.
  • Human Resources – recognizing and developing high potential individuals, determination of appropriate mine staffing, UMWA grievance resolution, LMPCP at union operations, experience maintaining non-union work force, salary budget, incentive programs, new employee training, and management development of operations foremen and managers.
  • Coal Preparation and Transportation –maximize efficient coal handling, build and maintain preparation facilities and load outs, utilize barge and train load outs, set up highway trucking to transport coal to off site load outs, maintain customer quality requirements, multi-mine coal blending in order to achieve cost effective customer specifications.
  • Administration – oversee multi-functional staff, serve on sales agreement review committee (SARC), evaluate and develop new mine proposals in the existing company reserve base, serve on due diligence committees evaluating possible acquisitions, negotiate terms of new acquisitions, negotiate joint ventures with other coal companies, negotiate settlement of reclamation obligations after the sale of assets with partners or outside concerns, negotiate with gas companies the right to mine under gas transmission lines and into gas storage fields, and supervise the management transition for new acquisitions.
  • Planning – develop yearly budgets and long term strategic plans for mining operations, which included cost reductions, capital requirements, staffing, mine layout, quality, sales and production levels. Develop new mine plans and capital requirements for future mine star-ups.  Develop time tables for start-ups based on market and financial feasibility.



Work History


My coal career began with CONSOL Energy Inc. My job assignments included operations in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Utah, and Canada. My final position with CONSOL was Vice President of Operations for the Ohio Valley Operations. In that position I was responsible for the McElroy Mine and Preparation Plant, the Shoemaker Mine and Preparation Plant, the Mahoning Valley Surface Mine, and a joint venture surface mine with Oxford Coal Company. I retired from CONSOL Energy with a two-year non-compete agreement. After the completion of that two year period, I joined Patriot Coal Co. During my time at Patriot Coal I had responsibility for the Federal #2 longwall mine and preparation plant, the Panther Complex consisting of a longwall mine and preparation plant, the Wells Complex consisting of 3 mines and a preparation plant, the Rock Lick Complex consisting of 3 mines and a preparation plant, the Kanawha Eagle Complex consisting of 2 mines, including a new mine start-up of the Peerless Rachel Mine, a preparation plant and river dock and load out, the Big Mountain Complex consisting of 3 mines and a preparation plant and the Midland Trails Complex consisting of 3 mines and a preparation plant. In March of 2015 I retired from Patriot Coal Company.


My job titles and years of experience in each job function are listed below:


  • Senior Vice President of Operations – Northern WV 12/11 –  03/15
  • Senior Vice President of Underground Mining             12/09 – 11/11
  • Vice President Operations 09/04 – 11/07
  • Corporate Manager of Closed Mines                   05/02 – 08/04
  • Vice President Operations 06/94 – 04/02
  • Technical Assistant to VP of Operations 05/87 – 05/94
  • General Supt. Mt. Vernon Undgd. Ops. 11/86 – 04/87
  • Superintendent Franklin and Oak Park Undgd. 02/84 – 10/86
  • General Mine Foreman Franklin 05/80 – 01/84
  • Administrative Asst. to VP – Ohio Undgd. Ops. 05/79 – 04/80
  • Section Foreman 02/79 – 04/79
  • Regional Manager of Industrial Engineering 03/77 – 01/79
  • Superintendent – Egypt Valley Surface 10/75 – 02/77
  • Pit Foreman – Egypt Valley Surface 10/74 – 09/75
  • Loading Foreman – Egypt Valley Surface 05/74 – 09/74
  • Industrial Engineer 01/74 – 04/74
  • General Laborer UMWA (while attending WVU) 07/69 – 12/73


Career Highlights


  • At Patriot I was able to contribute to an improvement in reportable accident frequency rates. In 2009 the Patriot Safety reportable incidence rate was 3.52.  After continuous improvement over the past 3 years the rate improved to 2.63 in 2012.
  • At the Kanawha Eagle complex I converted a contractor run operation to a company run operation, which allowed us to cut cost by 30%.
  • At Patriot I developed mine plans for 3 new underground mines, which I obtained board approval to start up. I also obtained board approval to reopen a closed mine.
  • At Patriot’s longwall mines, I changed the mine plans to extend LW panels and reposition the LW panels to take advantage of the best available mining conditions.
  • At the Federal mine a new monthly tonnage record was set.
  • At the Federal and Panther LW mines negative development lead times were overcome. The section layout was changed to reduce total mining footage required to develop the panels.  I was able to obtain board approval to purchase in place continuous miners at Federal, which improved productivity and minimized dust exposure to the operators.  Using these new continuous miners a reduction of 11% of development footage required per panel was achieved.  Operating schedules were also changed at both mines to improve the daily rate of advance.  Bleeders were converted to 3 entries.
  • At the Panther mine I converted the longwall operating schedule to a 7 day per week schedule.
  • While VP of Operations at CONSOL, I was able to justify and obtain board approval to convert the McElroy Mine to a belt haulage mine from a rail haulage mine. This lead to McElroy mining over 7 million clean tons, which was an all-time record for a 1 longwall mine in W. Va. and Consol.  This was an improvement of 2.5 million clean tons.
  • While VP at CONSOL, I was able to justify and get board approval for a capital project to up-grade the preparation plant and convert the mine to two longwalls, which resulted in the mine producing 10.4 million clean tons. This was an improvement of 3.4 million clean tons.  This made McElroy the largest coal mine in W.Va.
  • While VP of Operations at CONSOL, I was able to justify and get board approval for a plan to convert Shoemaker Mine from a rail haulage mine to an all belt mine. This enabled the mine to improve production by 2.6 million clean tons per year.
  • While VP at CONSOL the McElroy, Quarto 4 and Shoemaker mines in my operations had the lowest total accident frequency for all longwall mines in Consol and won our company’s Liv Ireland Safety Award.
  • I formed a new corporate department to address long term liabilities associated with the company’s closed mines in all of CONSOL’s operating areas and Canada. During this time I was able to negotiate deals with companies to mine abandoned slurry ponds. I was also able to get deals with other companies to assume our liabilities for abandoned mines and property.  I negotiated large savings on reclamation liabilities in Canada and at our Ohio mines acquired from AEP.  I improved reclamation efficiencies which reduced cost.  These liabilities were taken off the books at savings that converted to earnings for CONSOL.
  • As VP of Operations, mines under my supervision: McElroy, Shoemaker, Dilworth, Robinson Run, Eighty-Four Mine, and Blacksville set tonnage records. Production tonnage records at McElroy, Dilworth and Eighty-Four Mine still stand.
  • As VP of Operations, I led the operations portion of the negotiations and due diligence on the acquisition of the AEP mines by CONSOL. I assumed responsibility for these mines at the end of the successful negotiations.
  • As Vice President of Operations, I led the negotiations with Columbia Gas to mine through their gas storage field.
  • While at CONSOL I participated in the acquisitions of the Inland Steel mines in Illinois, the Quarto coal operations in Ohio, the 84 mine in PA and the AEP mines in Ohio and W.Va.
  • While at CONSOL, I improved the ratio of development footage to longwall footage at many different operations. This was accomplished by redesigning block lengths and reducing block widths, obtaining approvals from the Federal and State agencies to drive 300 feet without a cross cut, obtaining approvals from the agencies to convert 4 entry development sections and bleeders to 3 entries, and changing the schedules to work 3 shifts per day and 7 days per week where feasible.





Bachelor of Science Industrial Engineering, West Virginia University, 1974

Executive Development Course, University of Houston, 1986

Masters in Business Administration, West Virginia University, 1991


Activities and Interest


Past President of the Executive Bd. for the Ohio River Valley Council of the BSA

Past Member of the Board of Trustees for Reynolds Memorial Hospital

Past President of the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute

Member of King Coal Club

Member of Academy of Industrial Engineers at WVU

Past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Sports World Ministries

Past Trustee for the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics

Elder of the East Richland Evangelical Friends Church

President of the East Richland Christian School Board

I am married with 2 children and enjoy family activities, hunting, fishing and golf.

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