Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 45.1. Mines and Mining
3/31/2020

Article 3. Certification of Mineral Mine Workers.

§ 45.1-161.292:15. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2012, cc. 803, 835, cl. 49.

§ 45.1-161.292:17. Records of Board of Mineral Mining Examiners.

The Director of the Division of Mineral Mining shall preserve in his office a record of the meetings and transactions of the Board of Mineral Mining Examiners and of all certificates issued by the Board.

1997, c. 390.

§ 45.1-161.292:18. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2012, cc. 803, 835, cl. 49.

§ 45.1-161.292:19. Certification of certain persons employed in mineral mines; powers of the Department.

A. The Department may require certification of persons who work in mineral mines and persons whose duties and responsibilities in relation to mineral mining require competency, skill or knowledge in order to perform consistently with the health and safety of persons and property. The following certifications shall be issued by the Department, and a person holding such a certification shall be authorized to perform the tasks which this chapter and Chapters 14.5 (§ 45.1-161.293 et seq.) and 14.6 (§ 45.1-161.304 et seq.) or any regulation promulgated by the Department requires be performed by such a certified person:

1. Surface foreman;

2. Surface foreman open pit;

3. Underground foreman;

4. Surface blaster;

5. Electrical repairman;

6. Underground mining blaster;

7. General mineral miner; and

8. Mine inspector.

B. Certification shall also be required for such additional tasks as the Department may require by regulation.

C. The Department shall have the power to promulgate regulations necessary or incidental to the performance of duties or execution of powers conferred under this title, which regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of Article 2 (§ 2.2-4007 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act.

1997, c. 390; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 45.1-161.292:20. Examinations required for Mineral Mining Certifications.

A. The Department may require examination of applicants for certification; however, the Department shall require examination of applicants for a mine inspector certification. The Department may require such other information from applicants as may be necessary to ascertain competency and qualifications for each task. Except as provided by this chapter and Chapters 14.5 (§ 45.1-161.293 et seq.) and 14.6 (§ 45.1-161.304 et seq.) for general mineral miner and surface foreman certifications, the Department shall prescribe the qualifications for any certification. The examinations shall be conducted under such rules, conditions and regulations as the Department shall promulgate. Such rules, when promulgated, shall be made a part of the permanent record of the Department, shall periodically be published, and shall be of uniform application to all applicants.

B. Any certificate issued by the Department, except the general mineral miner certification, shall be valid from the date of issuance for a period of five years, unless renewed, or unless revoked pursuant to § 45.1-161.292:26. The general mineral miner certification shall be valid from the date of issuance until it may be revoked pursuant to § 45.1-161.292:26.

1997, c. 390; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 45.1-161.292:21. Performance of certain tasks by uncertified persons; penalty.

It is unlawful for any person to perform any task requiring certification by the Department until he has been certified. It is unlawful for an operator or his agent to permit any uncertified person to perform such tasks. A violation of this section shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor. Each day of operation without a required certification shall constitute a separate offense. A certificate issued by the Board of Mineral Mining Examiners prior to July 1, 2012, shall be acceptable as a certificate issued by the Department until the Department shall provide otherwise by appropriate regulations.

1997, c. 390; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 45.1-161.292:22. Examination fees; Mineral Mining Examiners' Fund.

A fee of $10 shall be paid to the Director by each person examined. All fees shall be paid before the commencement of the examination. All such fees collected, together with moneys collected pursuant to § 45.1-161.292:25, shall be retained by the Department and shall be promptly paid by the Director into the state treasury and shall constitute the Mineral Mining Examiners' Fund. The fund shall be administered by the Director for the payment of the cost of printing certificates and other necessary forms and the incidental expenses incurred by the Department in conducting examinations, reviewing examination papers, and conducting its other duties pursuant to this article. The Director shall keep accounts and records concerning the receipts and expenditures of the fund as required by the Auditor of Public Accounts.

1997, c. 390; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 45.1-161.292:23. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2012, cc. 803 and 835, cl. 49.

§ 45.1-161.292:24. Reciprocal acceptance of other certifications.

In lieu of an examination prescribed by law or regulation, the Department may issue to any person holding a certificate issued by another state a certificate permitting him to perform similar tasks in this Commonwealth, provided that (i) the Department finds that the requirements for certification in such other state are substantially equivalent to those of Virginia and (ii) holders of certificates issued by the Department are permitted to perform similar tasks in such state, and obtain similar certification from such state if required, upon presentation of the certificate issued by the Department and without additional testing, training, or other requirements not directly related to program administration.

1997, c. 390; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 45.1-161.292:25. Renewal of certificates.

The holder of any certificate issued by the Board of Mineral Mining Examiners or the Department, other than a general mineral miner certificate, may renew the certificate by successfully completing the examination for the renewal of such certificate. The Department shall establish requirements for renewal of a certificate in accordance with the procedure set forth in subsection A of § 45.1-161.292:20. The Department shall notify a certificate holder at least 180 days prior to the expiration of the certificate. Any certificate requiring renewal which is not renewed by the fifth anniversary of its issuance, or previous renewal, shall be invalid. As a condition to renewal, the holder shall provide the Department with such administrative information as is reasonably required and shall pay the examination fee as provided in § 45.1-161.292:22.

1997, c. 390; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 45.1-161.292:26. Revocation of certificates.

A. The Department may revoke any certificate upon finding that the holder has (i) been intoxicated while in duty status; (ii) neglected his duties; (iii) violated any provision of this chapter and Chapters 14.5 (§ 45.1-161.293 et seq.) and 14.6 (§ 45.1-161.304 et seq.) or any other mineral mining law of the Commonwealth; (iv) used any controlled substance without the prescription of a licensed physician; or (v) other sufficient cause.

B. The Department may act to revoke any certificate upon the presentation of written charges by (i) the Director of the Division of Mineral Mining or any other employee of the Department; (ii) the operator of a mine at which such person is employed; (iii) an independent contractor working at such mine; or (iv) 10 persons working at the mine at which such person is employed, or, if less than 10 persons are working at the mine, a majority of the workers at the mine.

C. Prior to revoking a certificate, the Department shall give due notice to the holder of the certificate and conduct a hearing. Any hearing shall be conducted in accordance with § 2.2-4020 unless the parties agree to informal proceedings. The hearing shall be conducted by a hearing officer as provided in § 2.2-4024.

D. Any person who has been aggrieved by a decision of the Department shall be entitled to judicial review of such decision. Appeals from such decisions shall be in accordance with Article 4 (§ 2.2-4025 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act.

1997, c. 390; 1998, c. 695; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 45.1-161.292:27. Reexamination.

The holder of a certificate revoked pursuant to § 45.1-161.292:26 shall be entitled to examination by the Department after three months has elapsed from the date of revocation of the certificate if he can prove to the satisfaction of the Department that the cause for revocation of his certificate has ceased to exist.

1997, c. 390; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 45.1-161.292:28. General mineral miner certification.

A. Every person commencing work in a mineral mine subsequent to January 1, 1997, shall hold a general mineral miner certificate issued by the Board of Mineral Mining Examiners or the Department. Any person who has worked in a mineral mine in Virginia prior to that date may, but shall not be required to, hold a general mineral miner certificate.

B. Each applicant for a general mineral miner certificate shall prove to the Department that he has knowledge of first aid practices and has a general working knowledge of the provisions of this chapter and Chapters 14.5 (§ 45.1-161.293 et seq.) and 14.6 (§ 45.1-161.304 et seq.) and applicable regulations pertaining to mineral mining health and safety.

1997, c. 390; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 45.1-161.292:29. Foreman certification.

A. At any mineral mine where three or more persons work during any part of a 24-hour period, the licensed operator or independent contractor engaged in the extraction or processing of minerals shall employ a mine foreman. Only persons holding a foreman certificate in accordance with § 45.1-161.292:19 shall be employed as mine foremen. The holder of such a certificate shall present the certificate, or a photostatic copy thereof, to the operator where he is employed, who shall file the certificate or its copy in the office at the mine, and the operator shall make it available for inspection by interested persons.

B. Applicants for a foreman certificate shall have had at least five years of experience at mineral mining or other experience deemed appropriate by the Department and demonstrate to the Department a thorough knowledge of the theory and practice of mineral mining by making 85 percent or more on the written examination. In addition, each applicant shall pass an examination in first aid approved by the Department.

C. The certified mine foreman shall examine all active workings at the beginning of each shift. Any hazard or unsafe condition shall be corrected prior to miners starting work in the affected area.

D. Independent contractors working in a mineral mine who are engaged in activities other than the extraction or processing of minerals and working in a clearly demarcated area where (i) no mining-associated hazards exist and (ii) no other miners travel or work while engaged in extraction or processing activities, shall employ a competent person who shall examine the work area of the contractor at the beginning of each shift. Any hazard or unsafe condition shall be corrected prior to personnel starting work in the affected area.

1997, c. 390; 1998, c. 695; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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