MSHA Issues POV Notice to Underground Silver Mine in Colorado

Two mines in Texas and Alabama received postponement notices, as well.

According to a DOL news release, MSHA has put Star Mine Operations LLC's Revenue Mine in Ouray County, Colorado, on notice of a pattern of violations of mandatory health or safety standards under section 104(e) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. Revenue is an underground silver ore operation.

In total, MSHA cited 92 significant and substantial violations at the Revenue Mine during a 12-month period. The organization identified patterns of S&S violations related to roof and rib hazards, handling of explosives materials, ventilation, and training practices, with 57 of the citations including either high negligence or reckless disregard by the mine operator.

MSHA also issued two postponement notices to Alcoa World Alumina LLC's Bayer Alumina Plant in Calhoun County, Texas, and Jesse Creek Mining LLC's Clark No. 1 Mine, an underground coal mine in Shelby County Alabama. Both of them met the initial screening criteria, and they were reviewed for mitigating circumstances as provided for in the POV process, which can result in not issuing or postponing a POV notice.

According to MSHA, its screening process identified 12 of the nation's more than 14,000 mines – six coal mines and six metal and nonmetal operations – for further evaluation to determine whether a pattern of violations exists, and this number is fewest number of coal mines identified for additional screening since MSHA reformed the screening process in 2010. MSHA issued the first four POV notices under its revised rule in 2013.

"No mine had been placed on a POV for the first 33 years of the Mine Act," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "Since we began using this enforcement action, there have been a significant reduction in the number of mines considered chronic violators identified during the POV reviews and major improvements in safety at mines subject to the POV process."

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