Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.1. Mines and Mining
Chapter 14.4:1. Mineral Mine Safety Act
12/2/2020

Article 4. Licensing of Mineral Mines.

§ 45.1-161.292:30. License required for operation of mineral mines; term.

A. No person shall engage in the operation of any mineral mine within this Commonwealth without first obtaining a license from the Department. A license shall be required prior to commencement of the operation of a mine. A separate license shall be secured for each mine operated. Licenses shall be in such form as the Director may prescribe. The license shall be posted in a conspicuous place near the main entrance to the mine. The Director may transfer a license to a successor operator, provided that the successor operator has complied with the requirements of this chapter and Chapters 14.5 (§ 45.1-161.293 et seq.) and 14.6 (§ 45.1-161.304 et seq.). Every change in ownership of a mine shall be reported to the Department as provided in subsection D of § 45.1-161.292:35.

B. Licenses shall be valid for a period of one year following the date of issuance and shall be renewed on their anniversary date.

C. Within thirty days after the occurrence of any change in the information required by subsection A, the licensed operator shall notify the Department, in writing, of such change.

1997, c. 390; 1998, c. 695; 2000, c. 974.

§ 45.1-161.292:31. Fee to accompany application for license; fund; disposition of fees.

Each application for a mineral mine license or a renewal or transfer of a license shall be submitted to the Department, accompanied by a fee, payable to the State Treasurer, in the amount of $180. However, any person engaged in mining sand or gravel on an area of five acres or less shall be required to pay a fee of $48. All such fees collected shall be retained by the Department and paid into the state treasury and shall constitute a fund under the control of the Director. Expenditures from this fund may be made by the Department for safety equipment, safety training, safety education or for any expenditure to further the safety program in the mineral mining industry. All expenditures from this fund must be approved by the Director.

1997, c. 390; 2003, cc. 542, 550.

§ 45.1-161.292:32. Application for license.

A. An application for a license shall be submitted by the person who will be the licensed operator of the mine. No application for a license or a renewal thereof shall be complete unless it contains the following:

1. Identity regarding the applicant. If the applicant is a sole proprietorship, the applicant shall state: (i) his full name and address; (ii) the name and address of the mine and its federal mine identification number; (iii) the name and address of the person with overall responsibility for operating decisions at the mine; (iv) the name and address of the person with overall responsibility for health and safety at the mine; (v) the federal mine identification numbers of all other mines in which the sole proprietor has a twenty percent or greater ownership interest; and (vi) the trade name, if any, and the full name, address of record and telephone number of the proprietorship. If the applicant is a partnership, the applicant shall state: (i) the name and address of the mine and its federal mine identification number; (ii) the name and address of the person with overall responsibility for operating decisions at the mine; (iii) the name and address of the person with overall responsibility for health and safety at the mine; (iv) the federal mine identification numbers of all other mines in which the partnership has a twenty percent or greater ownership interest; (v) the full name and address of all partners; (vi) the trade name, if any, and the full name and address of record and telephone number of the partnership; and (vii) the federal mine identification numbers of all other mines in which any partner has a twenty percent or greater ownership interest. If the applicant is a corporation, the applicant shall state: (i) the name and address of the mine and its federal mine identification number; (ii) the name and address of the person with overall responsibility for operating decisions at the mine; (iii) the name and address of the person with overall responsibility for health and safety at the mine; (iv) the federal mine identification numbers of all other mines in which the corporation has a twenty percent or greater ownership interest; (v) the full name, address of record and telephone number of the corporation and the state of incorporation; (vi) the full name and address of each officer and director of the corporation; (vii) if the corporation is a subsidiary corporation, the applicant shall state the full name, address, and state of incorporation of the parent corporation; and (viii) the federal mine identification numbers of all other mines in which any corporate officer has a twenty percent or greater ownership interest. If the applicant is any organization other than a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, the applicant shall state: (i) the nature and type, or legal identity of the organization; (ii) the name and address of the mine and its federal mine identification number; (iii) the name and address of the person with overall responsibility for operating decisions at the mine; (iv) the name and address of the person with overall responsibility for health and safety at the mine; (v) the federal mine identification numbers of all other mines in which the organization has a twenty percent or greater ownership interest; (vi) the full name, address of record and telephone number of the organization; (vii) the name and address of each individual who has an ownership interest in the organization; (viii) the name and address of the principal organization officials or members; and (ix) the federal mine identification numbers of all other mines in which any official or member has a twenty percent or greater ownership interest;

2. The names and addresses of any agent of the applicant with responsibility for the business operation of the mine, and any person with an ownership or leasehold interest in the minerals to be mined;

3. Information about each independent contractor working at the mine: (i) the independent contractor's trade name, business address and business telephone number; (ii) a description of the nature of the work to be performed by the independent contractor and where at the mine the work is to be performed; (iii) the independent contractor's MSHA identification number, if any; (iv) the independent contractor's address of record for service of citations and other documents; (v) the names and addresses of persons with overall responsibility for operating decisions; and (vi) the names and addresses of persons with overall responsibility for the health and safety of employees;

4. The names and addresses of persons to be contacted in the event of an accident or other emergency at the mine;

5. Such information required by the Department that is relevant to an assessment of the safety and health risks likely to be associated with the operation of the mine; and

6. For any license renewal, the annual report required pursuant to § 45.1-161.292:35.

B. The application shall be certified as being complete and accurate by the applicant, if an individual; by the agent of a corporate applicant; or by a general partner of an applicant that is a partnership. The application shall be submitted on forms furnished or approved by the Department.

C. Within thirty days after the occurrence of any change in the information required by subsection A, the licensed operator shall notify the Department, in writing, of such change.

1997, c. 390; 1998, c. 695.

§ 45.1-161.292:33. Denial or revocation of license.

A. The Director may deny an application for, or revoke a license for, the operation of a mineral mine, upon determining that the applicant, the licensed operator, or his agent has committed violations of the mine safety laws of the Commonwealth which demonstrate a pattern of willful violations resulting in an imminent danger to miners.

B. The Director may revoke every license issued to any person for the operation of a mineral mine and may deny every application by a person for the issuance of a license for the operation of a mineral mine, who has been convicted of knowingly permitting a miner to work in an underground coal mine where a methane monitor or other device capable of detecting the presence of explosive gases was impaired, disturbed, disconnected, bypassed, or otherwise tampered with in violation of § 45.1-161.233.

C. The Director may revoke every license issued to any person for the operation of a mineral mine and may deny every application by a person for the issuance of a license for the operation of a mineral mine, who has been convicted of violating subsection A of § 45.1-161.177 or § 45.1-161.178.

D. Any person whose license is denied or revoked pursuant to subsection A, B, or C may bring a civil action in the circuit court of the city or county in which the mine is located for review of the decision. The commencement of such a proceeding shall not, unless specifically ordered by the court, operate as a stay of the decision. The court shall promptly hear and determine the matters raised by the aggrieved party. In any such action the court shall receive the records of the Department with respect to the determination, and shall receive additional evidence at the request of any party. The court, basing its decision on the preponderance of the evidence, shall grant such relief as the court determines appropriate.

1997, c. 390; 1998, c. 695.

§ 45.1-161.292:34. Operating without license; penalty.

A. In addition to any other power conferred by law, the Director, or his designated representative, shall have the authority to issue an order closing any mineral mine which is operating without a license. The procedure for issuing a closure order shall be as provided in § 45.1-161.292:64.

B. Any person operating an unlicensed mineral mine shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. Each day any person operates an unlicensed mineral mine shall constitute a separate offense.

1997, c. 390.

§ 45.1-161.292:35. Annual reports; condition to issuance of license following transfer of ownership.

A. The licensed operator of every mine or his agent shall annually, by February 15, mail or deliver to the Department a report for the preceding twelve months, ending with December 31. Such report shall state: (i) the names of the licensed operator, any agent, and their officers of the mine; (ii) the quantity of minerals mined; (iii) any changes in the information required to be part of the license application by subsection A of § 45.1-161.292:32; and (iv) such other information, not of a private nature, as may from time to time be required by the Department on blank forms furnished or approved by the Department.

B. Each independent contractor working or who has worked at a mine during the preceding twelve months shall annually, by February 15, mail or deliver to the Department a report for the preceding twelve months, ending with December 31. Such report shall state: (i) the independent contractor's name and Department identification number; (ii) the number of the independent contractor's employees who worked at each mine, listed by mine name and license number; (iii) the number of the independent contractor's employee hours worked at each mine, listed by mine name and license number; and (iv) the lump sum amount of wages paid by the independent contractor at each mine, if such amount is above $1,000, listed by mine name and license number.

C. For purposes of subsection B, independent contractor shall mean any (i) extraction and processing contractors, including, but not limited to, drillers, blasters, portable crushers, and stripping and land clearing contractors; (ii) maintenance and repair contractors for mobile and stationary extraction and processing equipment, including, but not limited to, welders, mechanics, painters and electricians; and (iii) construction contractors involved in mine site construction maintenance or repair, including, but not limited to, plant construction contractors, concrete fabricators and equipment erectors.

D. Whenever the owner of a mine shall transfer the ownership of such mine to another person, the person transferring such ownership shall submit a report to the Department of such change and a statement of the tons of minerals produced since the January 1 previous to the date of such sale or transfer of such mine. A license shall not be issued covering such transfer of ownership until the report is furnished.

E. All wage information contained in any report filed with the Department pursuant to this section shall be exempt from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.) and shall not be published or open to public inspection in any manner revealing the employing unit's identity, except that such information may be disclosed to the Director or his authorized representative concerned with carrying out any provisions of this title. Wage data aggregated in such a manner that it does not reveal the employing unit's identity shall not be considered confidential.

1997, c. 390; 1998, c. 695; 2000, c. 974.

§ 45.1-161.292:36. Notices to Department; resumption of mining following discontinuance.

A. The licensed operator or his agent shall send notice of intent to abandon or discontinue the working of an underground mine for a period of thirty days or a surface mine for a period of sixty days to the Department at least ten days prior to discontinuing the working of a mine with such intent, or at any time a mine becomes an inactive mine.

B. The licensed operator, or his agent, shall send to the Department ten days' prior notice of intent to resume the working of an inactive mine. Except for a surface mineral mine which is inspected by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the working of such mine shall not resume until a mine inspector has inspected the mine and approved it.

C. Emergency actions necessary to preserve a mine may be undertaken without the prior notice of intent and advance inspection required by subsection B. In such event, a mine foreman shall examine a mine for hazardous conditions immediately before miners are permitted to work. The licensed operator, or his agent, shall notify the Department as soon as possible after commencing emergency action necessary to preserve the mine.

D. The licensed operator, or his agent, shall send to the Department ten days' prior notice of any change in the name of a mine or in the name of the operation of a mine.

E. The licensed operator, or his agent, shall send to the Department ten days' prior notice of the opening of a new mine.

F. Any notice required by this section shall be in writing and shall include the name of the mine, the location of the mine, the name of the licensed operator, and the licensed operator's mailing address.

1997, c. 390; 1998, c. 695.

§ 45.1-161.292:37. Maps of mines required to be made; contents; extension and preservation; use by Department; release; posting of map.

A. Prior to commencing mining activity, the licensed operator of a mineral mine, or his agent, shall make, or cause to be made, unless already made and filed, an accurate map of such mine, on a scale to be stated thereon of 100 to 400 feet to the inch. Such map shall show the openings or excavations, the shafts, slopes, entries and airways, with darts or arrows showing direction of air currents, headings, rooms, pillars, permanent explosive magazines, permanent fuel storage facilities, and such portions of such mine or mines as may have been abandoned, and so much of the property lines and the outcrop of the mineral of the tract of land on which the mine is located, as may be within 1,000 feet of any part of the workings of such mine, and for underground mines only, the general inclination of the mineral strata. The licensed operator shall annually, beginning on the anniversary date of the mine permit issued pursuant to Chapter 16 (§ 45.1-180 et seq.), while the mine is in operation, cause the map thereof to be extended so as to accurately show the progress of the workings, and the property lines and outcrop as described above, and shall forward the same to the Department to be kept on record, subject to the conditions stated in subsection C. If there are no changes in the information required by this section, an updated map shall not be required to be submitted to the Department.

B. The licensed operator of any surface mineral mine, or his agent, shall not be required to submit a map of such mine to the Department unless the mine may intersect (i) underground workings or (ii) workings from auger, thin seam, or highwall mining operations. The map shall be filed and preserved among the records of the Department and made available at a reasonable cost to all persons owning, leasing, or residing on or having an equitable interest in surface areas or coal or mineral interests within 1,000 feet of such mining operation upon written proof satisfactory to the Director and upon sworn affidavit that such person requesting a map has a proper legal or equitable interest; however, the Director shall provide to the person requesting a map only that portion of the map which abuts or is contiguous to the property in which such requesting party has a legal or equitable interest. In no case shall any copy of the same be made for any other person without the consent of the licensed operator or his agent. The Director shall promptly deliver notice of such request to the licensed operator of such mining operation.

C. The original map, or a true copy thereof, shall be kept by such licensed operator at the active mine, open at all reasonable times for the examination and use of the mine inspector.

D. Copies of such maps shall be made available at a reasonable cost to the governing body of any county, city or town in which the mine is located upon written request; however, such copies shall be provided on the condition that they not be released to any person who does not have a legal or equitable interest in surface areas or mineral interests within 1,000 feet of the mining operation without the written consent of the licensed operator or his agent. The governing body shall promptly deliver notice of any request for a copy of such a map to the licensed operator or his agent.

1997, c. 390; 1998, c. 695.

§ 45.1-161.292:38. When the Director may cause maps to be made; payment of expense.

If the licensed operator, or his agent, of any mine shall neglect or fail to furnish to the Director a copy of any map or extension thereof, as provided in § 45.1-161.292:37, the Director is authorized to cause a correct survey and map of said mine, or extension thereof, to be made at the expense of the licensed operator of such mine, the cost of which shall be recovered from the licensed operator as other debts are recoverable by a civil action at law. If at any time the Director has reason to believe that such map, or extensions thereof, furnished pursuant to § 45.1-161.292:37 is substantially incorrect, or will not serve the purpose for which it is intended, he may have a survey and map or extension thereof made, or corrected. The expense of making such survey and map or extension thereof shall be paid by the licensed operator. The expense shall be recovered from the licensed operator as other debts are recoverable by a civil action at law. However, if the map filed by the licensed operator is found to be substantially correct, the expense shall be paid by the Commonwealth.

1997, c. 390; 1998, c. 695.

§ 45.1-161.292:39. Making false statements; penalty.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person charged with the making of maps or other data to be furnished as provided in this chapter and Chapters 14.5 (§ 45.1-161.293 et seq.) and 14.6 (§ 45.1-161.304 et seq.) to fail to correctly show, within the limits of error, the data required.

B. It shall be unlawful for any person charged with the making of maps or other data to be furnished as provided in this chapter and Chapters 14.5 (§ 45.1-161.293 et seq.) and 14.6 (§ 45.1-161.304 et seq.) to knowingly make any false statement or return in connection therewith.

C. A violation of this section is a misdemeanor, and a person convicted of violating this section shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $200.

1997, c. 390.