Coal Operators Analytical Laboratories/ N.E.S.T.


The year of 2007 was very important to Std Labs as it acquired the assets of C.O.A.L. and its associated water and soil testing laboratory NEST located in Belington, West Virginia.

These labs had been organized and developed by Margo and Dave Bartlett to service the northern West Virginia coalfields and had developed a very good reputation for quality work. They offered stiff direct competition with the Std Labs Buckhannon lab and as such had been a target for acquisition for a number of years. An earlier attempt by Bill Kalb of Tradet and Std Labs to jointly purchase C.O.A.L. and NEST a few years before had ended in no deal.

However, Margo’s health had been deteriorating slowly over several years and she and Dave felt it best to slow their lifestyle down by exiting the coal testing business and they decided to approach Std Labs who they felt to be the best option for their firm and its employees. After a number of months of bargaining between the two entities an agreement was reached whereby Std Labs would purchase the building and other testing assets over time as Margo would remain lab manager for a transitional period.

Dave would be employed to provide preparation plant consulting in the interim.

This arrangement lasted for a few years and resulted in a very smooth transfer of customers and the absorbion of the Buckhannon lab. Eventually, Margo’s health became critical enough for her to decide to retire completely from business activities and Rick Malcolm was selected to become the lab manager.

Rick has continued the good work and reputation of the Belington lab as it continues to be one of the company’s best performing operations.