TX Mining Monthly

Women in Mining: Nellie Frisbee

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Nellie Frisbee
Environmental Manager, North American Coal - CRF

I have been honored to work in the mining industry for more than 35 years. During that time, I’ve worked alongside a multitude of talented, dedicated and determined women. One of the most impressive women miners I have met started her career 30 years ago and continues to inspire and educate as she dedicates herself to excellence in the mining industry.

Nellie Frisbee started her career in surface coal mining in Texas as a result of a workshop presentation she conducted in College Station, Texas, for her Master’s thesis on “Weathering of Siderite at a Surface Mine and Reclamation.” The expertise and knowledge she exhibited in that presentation, along with her work completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and her Master of Science degree in Soil Science at Texas A&M University, opened up an opportunity for her at Northwestern Resources Co. As a result, she worked at their Jewett mine for 17 years, first as a soil scientist, then as the supervisor of geology/hydrology, and finally, as the permit coordinator.

After her tenure at Northwestern Resources Co., Nellie offered her services as a self-employed environmental consultant, further honing her skills and providing her expertise in various settings. After three years, Nellie decided to work with San Miguel Electric Coop for the next seven years, initially as a permit specialist, then the reclamation supervisor, and ultimately, as the power plant fuels manager.

Finally, Nellie came to work for North American Coal as the environmental manager at the Eagle Pass Mine in 2017 and we have been a better company because of her.

Nellie’s well-rounded career started with her boots-on-the-ground approach at coal mines and power plants, giving Nellie direct, practical knowledge of how the mining industry and the coal-based power industry works, the challenges it faces, and allowing her the ability to create innovative solutions. She believes in giving back to the industry, and she has published more than 10 scientific publications and conducted more than eight scientific presentations, including testimony in joint hearings of the Texas Legislative House Natural Resources and the House Energy Resources Committee.

Nellie personifies what women in the mining industry bring to the table: intellect, logic, well-rounded abilities, and an excellent work ethic. However, like most other women in mining, Nellie does not view herself as a “woman involved in mining;” rather she sees herself as a Coal Miner, first and foremost!

Nominated by:
Joel Trouart, 
Corporate Environmental Manager, North American
North American Coal


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