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More Industry Leading Speakers Announced for Bluefield Coal Symposium


May 13, 2024 - The Chamber of Commerce of the Two Virginias based in Bluefield and Princeton, WV is preparing for the 2024 Bluefield Coal Symposium, which is taking place at the Chuck Mathena Center in Princeton, WV on August 12-14 and more industry leaders have been named to speak at the event.

“We have assembled an amazing group of industry personalities to cover a wide range of subjects and in addition to the coal operator CEOs, who are attending, the speakers include Chris Hamilton, President & CEO, West Virginia Coal Association; Ben Beakes, President, Metallurgical Coal Producers Association; Bob Sherack, Vice President of Mining Products, Komatsu; and Jacquie Fidler, VP Environmental & Sustainability, CONSOL Energy,” said Bill Reid, Symposium Chair and Managing Editor of



Chris Hamilton



Ben Beakes


Bob Sherack


Jacquie Fidler


Bill Reid



“We also have speaking: Ken Humphreys, former DOE Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Senior Vice President, Net-Negative CO2 Baseload Power, Inc.; Rick Q. Honaker, Professor, Department of Mining Engineering, University of Kentucky; and Ernie Thrasher, Owner, XCoal Energy Resources. With help from these experts, we will “dig” into the challenges and opportunities of American coal so we understand the future of our industry,” said Reid.    


Ken Humphreys


Rick Q. Honaker


Ernie Thrasher


The Bluefield Coal Symposium has the theme Using U.S. Coal for a Better America. This national event is jointly presented by the Chamber of Commerce of the Two Virginias and CoalZoom. The symposium is being held at the Chuck Mathena Center, 1298 Stafford Drive, Princeton, WV. which is a beautiful 930-seat theater with state-of-the-art audio and visual capabilities as well as stunning architecture. The Symposium has four main goals:

·          to aid the search for zero accidents;

·          to lift the spirits of those serving the coal industry and bring everyone together;

·          to help promote MINExpo INTERNATIONAL®;

·          to examine the challenges and opportunities for coal.

Over a day and a half, there are three technical sessions, two dinners, and one luncheon.  Registration is now open and there are a number of packages available. Package A includes everything and costs $495.00 per person. Package A (Student or Retired) Everything is $225.00.  Package E includes Everything plus Table Top Exhibit with MINExpo package. This costs $995.000 per person.

The American coal industry makes a direct $28 billion economic contribution to the Nation each year and there are 68,179 employees at coal mines, including contractors, with both direct and indirect workers totaling 324,800. The Bluefield Coal Symposium is one of the major events in the 2024 coal calendar leading up to MINExpo® and will examine coal’s future.

The Symposium includes top-class entertainment with special live performances by Twitty and Lynn: A Salute to Conway & Loretta, as well as an appearance by Exile, who will perform many of their hit songs.  

The greater Bluefield area is quite beautiful in August, so please join us for some high-quality presentations, great food and super entertainment, combined with plenty of friendly socializing, all happening in a picturesque setting in the heart of coal country.

To register or for more information, please visit or phone the Chamber of Commerce at (304) 327-7184. Bill Reid can be reached at