Three metal/nonmetal mines cited in September impact inspections

By |  November 26, 2012

MSHA issued 150 citations and 10 orders during special impact inspections conducted at three metal/nonmetal mines and 13 coal mines during the month of September.

The three metal/nonmetal mines MSHA inspected were Pioneer Natural Resources USA Inc.’s Glass Rock Operation in Ohio; Heidelberg Cement’s Waco Plant in Texas; and Molycorp Inc.’s Mt. Pass Mine & Mill in California. Thirty-six of the 150 citations issues across categories were to these three mines. One of the 10 orders issued for the month was to Pioneer Natural Resources.

The monthly inspections, which began in April 2010 following the explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine, involve mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history or particular compliance concerns, including high numbers of violations or closure orders.

“As part of our overall strategy to improve compliance in the nation’s mines, and because of the egregious nature of some of the coal dust-related violations our inspectors have encountered during past impact inspections, I’ve instructed our enforcement personnel to give special consideration to mines with respirable dust or ventilation and dust control plan compliance concerns,” says Joe Main, MSHA’s assistant secretary of labor.

MSHA conducted 508 impact inspections and issued 8,950 citations, 875 orders and 38 safeguards between April 2010 and September 2012.

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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