This PIL provides instruction for enforcement personnel on accumulation of combustible materials and rock dust. An Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for Maintenance of Incombustible Content of Rock Dust was published on September 23, 2010. The ETS was effective upon publication. Each mine operator must comply with the ETS by October 7, 2010, for newly mined areas, and November 22, 2010, for all other areas of the mine. This PIL provides instruction for enforcement personnel for implementing this ETS and taking spot rock dust samples.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 10/05/10 -- American Bonanza Gold Corp. (TSX: BZA)(PINK SHEETS: ABGFF)(FRANKFURT: AB2) ("Bonanza") is pleased to report that work is progressing smoothly at the recently purchased 700 ton per day milling and flotation/gravity plant and building which is currently located in Calumet, Michigan.
New screening criteria will be used for MSHA's pattern of violations enforcement program, which targets mines with a history of safety violations. The agency outlined the changes Sept. 28 after being criticized recently by Congress and the DOL inspector general for gaps in its enforcement of Section 104(e) of the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, which allows closure orders to be issued for mine areas where there is a pattern of significant and substantial violations.
"Since the passage of the Mine Act more than 30 years ago, not one mining operation has ever been placed on a pattern of violations," said Joseph Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "We have known for some time that the current system is broken and needs to be fixed. This new screening process improves upon the old one, which cast too broad a net and did not distinguish mines with the highest levels of elevated enforcement. This new system will let MSHA focus its attention on those mines that are putting miners at greatest risk."
However, he also described the new format as "a stop-gap measure until reform can occur. We are aggressively pursuing both regulatory and legislative reforms," Main added, "but in the meantime, this new policy improves our ability to identify problem mines. Our goal with each of these reform efforts is to identify mines with a pattern of dangerous conditions and encourage them to improve their safety records. If a mine fails to do so, it will be placed into POV status."
The act says POV is to be used "at mines with a record of repeated [significant and substantial] violations and where the other enforcement provisions of the statute have not been effective in bringing the mine into compliance with federal health and safety standards." The preamble states, "MSHA expects to reserve the use of the 104(e) sanctions for mines where the operator has not responded to an escalating series of enforcement actions by the Agency."
"MSHA's changes to the screening process are designed to meet these statutory and regulatory objectives," said Main. "The new screening criteria will draw more attention to the so-called 'bad actors' than did the old criteria. They will focus on mines that exhibit chronic failures to maintain safe working conditions, have repeated significant and substantial violations, and have not responded to other enforcement tools."
The most recent available 12 months of OSH data will be used to screen, with criteria addressing two categories of violators. In the first, a mine must exhibit at least 50 significant and substantial (S&S) violations; have S&S violations either issued at an elevated rate of eight per 100 inspection hours or at elevated levels of negligence (25 percent or more); have a high rate of elevated enforcement actions (0.5 per 100 inspection hours); and have an elevated record of severe injuries (above the industry rate). The second category targets mines that don't meet those criteria but still have at least 100 S&S citations/orders and at least 40 elevated citations/orders. Both categories require at least five S&S violations of the same standard or at least two S&S violations caused by an unwarrantable failure to comply with the law.
Augusta announces that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Rosemont Copper Company, today entered into an Earn-In Agreement with a Korean consortium, the members of which are Korea Resources Corporation and LG International Corp, whereby KORES/LGI shall acquire a 20% joint venture interest in the Rosemont copper molybdenum project in Pima County, Arizona in consideration for funding US$176,000,000 of the project expenses. US$70,000,000 will be advanced to fund development pre-permitting and US$106,000,000 will be advanced to fund construction. As funds for the Investment are advanced, KORES/LGI will earn their proportionate interest in the joint venture.
Pursuant to the Earn-In Agreement, KORES/LGI and Rosemont have entered into a Joint Venture Agreement governing their relationship. KORES/LGI and Rosemont have also agreed to enter into an off-take agreement on market terms in respect of 30% of copper concentrate and 20% of copper cathode and molybdenum concentrates annually produced by the Rosemont project.
Augusta’s President and CEO Gil Clausen said: “The US$176 million equity investment by KORES and LGI, together with the US$230 million in funding previously committed by Silver Wheaton and combined with Augusta's contributions to date will provide about 50% of the total project funding. We are well advanced in discussions with project finance lenders for the balance of the funding. The steps taken today have substantially de-risked the project and will enable timely project construction upon receipt of final permits."
While headlines focus on the disaster at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch (UBB) Mine that killed 29 miners, we cannot lose sight of the fact that other miners are losing their lives at mines around the country. To date, 28 other miners from all sectors of mining have died in fatal accidents since January 1. We need to take prompt and effective action to prevent more fatalities.
The causes of these deaths and the ways to prevent them are known to us all. Eight miners were killed after being struck-by moving or falling objects. Roof falls and rib rolls crushed 7 miners. Six miners were killed working in close proximity to mining or haulage equipment. Three miners lost their lives in explosions and fires, another was killed when he was caught inside rotating machinery, one fell to his death, one was killed when his truck went through a berm and over a highwall, and one drowned. Eight of the victims were contractors. Each life lost is a tragedy for a family, a mining operation, and a community.
Fatalities are not inevitable. They can be prevented by using effective safety and health management programs in your workplaces. Workplace examinations for hazards – pre-shift and on-shift every shift – can identify and eliminate hazards that kill and injure miners. And providing effective and appropriate training will ensure that miners recognize and understand hazards and how to control or eliminate them. Mine operators and Part 46 and Part 48 trainers need to train miners and mine supervisors on the conditions that lead to deaths and injuries and measures to prevent and avoid them.
Mining workplaces must be made safe for miners, and operators must ensure that safety procedures are always followed. Thousands of mines do that and work year in and year out without fatalities or reporting lost-time injuries.
Violations of the standards identified earlier this year in our Rules to Live By fatality prevention program continue to play key roles in mine fatalities. Based on preliminary information currently available, it appears that violations of these priority standards were involved in more than half of these 28 fatalities.
Please visit MSHA’s website at www.msha.gov for a detailed message from me on this year’s fatalities, best practices to prevent them, posters for you to print and display in your operations, and other information on preventing fatalities in the mining workplace.
MSHA’s inspectors will be especially mindful of these issues while performing inspections. As they carry out enforcement of the mine laws, they will be talking to miners and mine supervisors in mines throughout the country to discuss these kinds of fatalities and preventing them. Miners deserve a safe and healthy workplace and the right to go home safe and well at the end of every shift, every day. Working together, we can make that happen.
This Program Information Bulletin (PIB) informs the mining community of the right to make a hazardous condition complaint under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), and the necessary procedure and contact information.
Through its quality control program, CSE Corporation identified a possible issue with a component part to its SR-100 Self-Contained Self-Rescuers (SCSRs) involving a shipment of oxygen cylinders from its supplier. CSE is investigating the potential that the breathing bag may receive less than the optimum amount of oxygen necessary for full inflation, if the unit is started with the oxygen cylinder. Until the root cause is determined and corrected, CSE Corporation is temporarily suspending sales of the SR-100 SCSRs.
Arizona faces a budget crisis, unemployment remains stubbornly high, and economic development has been scarce.
Fortunately, a few bright spots like the Florence Copper Project, an initiative of Curis Resources Ltd. to develop a world-class in-situ copper recovery (ISCR) project and bring much needed high wage jobs to the region, are underway.
"The Florence Copper Project represents an opportunity for the Town of Florence, Pinal County, and the State of Arizona to employ hundreds of people," said Mike McPhie, President and CEO of Curis Resources. "At full production, we will employ 170 full-time workers. These are head of household jobs for hardworking Arizonans," he said.
During the first phase of the project, a two-year production test that will take roughly two years to complete, Curis projects employing 30 full-time staff in addition to 200 to 300 construction workers.
The company also has a strong local hire policy, giving priority consideration to local job seekers based on qualifications and merit. Local companies also receive priority consideration for service contracts.
"We want to be partners in the community," said McPhie. "Providing employment to local residents and ensuring that we build relationships with local companies are two of the ways we can solidify our investment."
To learn more about local hire at the Florence Copper Project, click here.
Leading Industry Experts Advise Mining Companies on Alternative Case Resolution
Deadwood, SD, July 12, 2010–The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has stepped up enforcement of the Mine Safety and Health Act with aggressive field inspections of coal, mineral and aggregate mining operations. Since April, citations and penalties have risen steadily with industry experts predicting a continued increase as MSHA expanded its budget for site inspections and is currently recruiting additional field inspectors.
MSHA’s citation campaign took a new direction in February with the agency’s announcement of its “Rules to Live By” program, designed to enforce the 24 safety standards most frequently cited by MSHA in fatal mining accident investigations. Just two months later, the worst mining disaster in forty years occurred at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, putting the agency under congressional scrutiny.
“MSHA has definitely ramped up the number and variety of citations it’s issuing,” said Mark Savit, partner at Patton Boggs LLP and an expert in mining litigation and health and safety law. “It is clear that the MSHA leadership favors more stringent enforcement as the primary way to ensure safety, and they are taking unprecedented action as of late.”
Smaller mine operators are particularly vulnerable to MSHA enforcement actions, as many citations carry penalties that can cripple the operating budget of a small mining company. “I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Mr. Savit, remarking on a recent case in which a small stone quarry was assessed over $500,000 in MSHA penalties. Savit, who began his career at the U.S. Department of the Interior where he headed MSHA’s special investigation unit, said. “The only way a small mining company can operate in this regulatory climate is to become as familiar as it can be with the MSHA citation process. The risk of being unprepared for a significant MSHA enforcement action can be devastating.”
Scott McKenna, an MSHA-certified instructor and owner of Catamount Consulting LLC, agrees. “Mine operators need to know about and respond to any violations on their sites before MSHA does, and they need to know how to deal with citations,” said McKenna. “Ignorance of rights, responsibilities, the Code of Federal Regulations and the ACRI process is simply reckless.”
ACRI, the Alternative Case Resolution Initiative, is an MSHA program in which ACRI¬trained, non-attorney MSHA specialists resolve or adjudicate select enforcement disputes with mine operators arising from citations under the Mine Act. The use of the ACRI process has spread to almost every type of citation except where serious, disabling or fatal injuries are involved.
Mark Savit and Scott McKenna have collaborated to present at a two-and-a-half day seminar covering the legal and procedural processes involved in field inspections, citations and ACRI resolution. The ACRI workshop provides mine operators and their representatives the skills necessary to participate in the ACRI process without outside legal representation. Attorneys from Patton Boggs LLP, a preeminent Washington D.C. - based firm, provide insight into MSHA laws, research techniques and litigation procedures. Participants learn how to organize and present legal arguments, and receive a manual with form pleadings useful in preparing for settlement conferences and proceedings with Administrative Law Judges.
“We are helping mine operators to level the playing field,” said McKenna. “There is no argument that enforcement isn’t necessary. It’s about the cost of doing business.”
The ACRI Seminar will take place August 24-26, 2010 at Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort in Deadwood, South Dakota. The cost to attend is $625 per person. More information on the seminar can be found at http://www.catamountconsultingllc.com/events or by calling Catamount Consulting at (518) 623-2352.
The Florence Copper Project is an initiative of Curis Resources Ltd. to permit, construct and operate an in-situ copper recovery (ISCR) operation in Florence, Arizona.
The project, located in central Arizona within the municipal boundaries of the Town of Florence, was acquired by Curis in February 2010. Curis is working with residents and officials from the Town of Florence and relevant State and Federal agencies to design, construct and operate a world-class in-situ copper recovery project.
WASHINGTON, D.C. Leading members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives released a summary and discussion draft today of major reforms responding to serious health and safety concerns raised by workers and their families since Massey Energys Upper Big Branch Mine tragedy and other recent workplace accidents.
The reforms would provide stronger oversight to ensure that employers comply with the law, empower workers to speak up about safety concerns and give the Department of Labor the tools it needs to ensure that all workers go home safely at the end of the day.
In mines around the country and in other workplaces as well, worker safety has not been a priority. Bad actors have put profits ahead of people. As a consequence, workers have lost vital protections, suffered significant injuries and, in too many cases, lost their lives, said Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. We are determined to put sharper teeth in our workplace safety laws and to step up federal enforcement. We look forward to working with members on both sides of the aisle to find bipartisan solutions for workers. These policy ideals start that dialogue.
The Upper Big Branch tragedy highlighted significant problems in our nations miner safety laws and need substantial reform. Mine operators who callously and repeatedly put their workers in danger must be held accountable, said U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chair of the House Education and Labor Committee. It is clear that current law does not provide sufficient protections to miners who go underground every day. Today, we take the first step to ensure that the health and safety of workers are put ahead of production and profit.
The House Education and Labor Committee, joined by Sen. Jay Rockefeller and the West Virginia congressional delegation, heard testimony in Beckley, West Virginia from miners and families of those who died in the Upper Big Branch Mine about serious shortcomings in miner protections, including threats and intimidation of miners who brought up safety concerns to their bosses.
Too much hurt and tragedy has touched the lives and families of hard-working coal miners in West Virginia we must pass laws that put a higher priority on safety day in and day out. In the aftermath of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster, Senator Byrd and I worked together to develop new legislative actions to safeguard our miners and that effect will go on, said Senator Rockefeller (D-WV). Even as the investigation of the Upper Big Branch mine continues, we know there are problems we can solve today and we have an obligation to do just that. We must tackle the repeat pattern of violations in our mines, give MSHA the authority it needs to implement reforms, and further empower our miners with the protections they deserve to speak out when they see a safety problem.
This legislationhas been crafted, in large measure, to target and rein in the worst of the worst mine safety violators, while also providing for independent investigations of MSHA,"saidRep. Nick J. Rahall (D-WV),who represents the District whereMassey'sUpper Big Branch Mine is located."Ifully intend tokeep working with miners, their families, and coalindustry members to fine tune this billto ensurethat coal miners have safer, healthier workplaces while they continue their vital workproviding for America'senergyneeds."
Members of the House and Senate worked closely with the Department of Labor to ensure that the reforms outlined contained all the tools the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) says it needs to provide sufficient protections to miners and save lives.
We have seen too many accidents over the last few months in workplaces across the country, said Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). Between recent mine disasters and similar tragedies in other industries, it has become clear that Congress needs to act to strengthen protections provided by both MSHA and OSHA. Some of the countrys workplace fatalities receive national attention like the explosions at the Tesoro refinery in Washington or Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia but the vast majority get little attention beyond the affected family and friends. Workers everywhere and in every industry deserve to be able to feel confident that while they are working hard and doing their jobs, their employers are doing everything possible to keep them safe.
In addition to strengtheningenforcement provisions, this bill also has strong safeguards to protect workers, including improved whistleblower provisions and penalties for those employers who violate a miners right against retaliation,said Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), chair of the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee. In this tragic year for miners and other workers, the need for such reforms could not be more urgent. This bill will save lives.
Among other provisions, the reforms outlined include:
Making Mines with Serious and Repeated Violations Safe Criteria for pattern of violations sanctions would be revamped to ensure that the nations most dangerous mine operations improve safety dramatically.
Ensuring Irresponsible Operators are Held Accountable Maximum criminal and civil penalties would be increased and operators would be required to pay penalties in a timely manner.
Giving MSHA Better Enforcement Tools MSHA would be given the authority to subpoena documents and testimony. The agency could seek a court order to close a mine when there is a continuing threat to the health and safety of miners. MSHA could require more training of miners in unsafe mines. Increased rock dusting would be required to prevent coal dust explosions.
Protecting Miners Who Speak out on Unsafe Conditions Miners would be granted the right to refuse to work in unsafe conditions. Protections for workers who speak out about unsafe conditions would be strengthened, and miners would not lose pay for safety-related closures. In addition, miners would receive protections so they can speak freely during investigations.
Increasing MSHAs Accountability The legislative outline provides for an independent investigation of the most serious accidents. It would require that mine personnel are well-qualified, and ensure that inspections are comprehensive and well-targeted. Additionally, it requires pre-shift reviews of mine conditions and communication to ensure that appropriate safety information is transmitted.
Guaranteeing Basic Protections in All Other Workplaces To ensure that all workplaces have basic protections, whistleblower protections would be strengthened, criminal and civil penalties would be increased, and hazard abatement would be sped up. In addition, victims of accidents and their family members would be provided greater rights during investigations and enforcement actions.
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce supports economic development and job growth in the Tucson region. In that spirit, the Chamber supports the proposed Rosemont Mine. Our support is contingent on the anticipated acceptable result of the upcoming Environmental Impact Study (EIS) report and on the presumption that the mine’s construction is lawful.
The Chamber is sensitive to the potential impact this mine may have on the environment. We understand that necessary regulatory safeguards that are in place to ensure these concerns will be addressed and that Rosemont Copper will do whatever is necessary to comply with all such regulations.
The jobs that will be created by the Rosemont Mine are most assuredly needed to sustain the Southern Arizona economy. The ripple effect by Rosemont will have a positive economic impact on large numbers of businesses in our region.
We encourage the Federal government and all other agencies that control the regulatory process to thoroughly and expeditiously complete their analysis in order to begin timely operations.
Vancouver, B.C, May 2, 2010 – Augusta Resource Corporation (TSX/NYSE Amex: AZC) ("Augusta” or "the Company”) announces that in a statement dated April 30, 2010, the Coronado National Forest has delayed the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Rosemont Copper project in Arizona in order to complete an additional plant study and additional groundwater modeling of development plan alternatives.
The Coronado National Forest must complete field surveys for a native plant (Hexalectris revoluta) thought to be partially coincident with one or two of the several alternative proposals for the dry stack tailings area siting on USFS land. The plant has an April-June emergent season, and survey teams are in the field to collect data throughout the season. The Company believes that avoidance of the known plant location is possible with minimal changes to project siting for the one or two potentially affected alternatives.
In addition, DEIS project teams conducting detailed groundwater hydrology studies will complete further calculations on potential impacts and mitigation measures for the alternative facility sites under evaluation in the DEIS. Hydrology experts have undertaken a comprehensive calibration and sensitivity analysis of the complex predictive groundwater models. The groundwater models evaluate potential for impacts of the various alternatives for the Rosemont Copper project. Completion of these studies will allow better comparisons between the alternative siting proposals.
Both studies are expected to be completed this July; a revised DEIS schedule will be available within the next two months. All other work on completing and reviewing the document for publication continues unabated.
Augusta VP Sustainable Development Jamie Sturgess said: "All pertinent issues need to be addressed, and experts are completing these last two studies after delivering almost 100 technical reports over the last three years. As Rosemont nears completion of this EIS process, we are pleased to see ever-growing support from the public and elected officials.”
Company officials agree that this modest delay to the DEIS schedule is necessary to allow the Forest Interdisciplinary Team and its third party contractors to produce a complete and comprehensive evaluation.
Scheduling for final public hearings and comment period will be released with the Notice of Availability of the DEIS.
"Abandoned mines are one of the greatest hazards we have on public lands in Arizona," said Bureau of Land Management Lake Havasu Field Manager Ramone McCoy. "There are literally tens of thousands of mines left open in the West. We can't thank the Havasu 4 Wheelers enough for all their hard work making public lands safer."
“Rules to Live By” is an initiative to improve the prevention of fatalities in mining. Through a first phase of industry outreach and education followed by enhanced enforcement, the focus will be on 24 frequently cited standards (11 in coal mining and 13 in metal/nonmetal mining) that cause or contribute to fatal accidents in the mining industry in 9 accident categories.
ARLINGTON, Va. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) today announced it has launched a new outreach and enforcement program designed to strengthen efforts to prevent mining fatalities. "Rules to Live By" will spotlight the safety and health standards most frequently cited during fatal accident investigations through outreach efforts with the mining industry and focused enforcement by federal mine inspectors. MSHA formally will kick off the initiative Feb. 11 in Austin, Texas, and Feb. 12 in Charleston, W.Va.
"While the mining community marked a record-low number of mining deaths last year and has seen a significant decline in fatal mining accidents during the past 10 years, too many miners still lose their lives in preventable accidents," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "MSHA and its stakeholders must remain committed to working together toward the ultimate goal of zero mining fatalities."
Over the past several months, MSHA conducted an analysis of the 589 mining fatalities that occurred from 2000 to 2008. The analysis identified the most common conditions and practices that contributed to mining deaths, as well as the most common violations of safety standards and root causes associated with these fatal accidents. As a result of that analysis, the agency identified 11 coal and 13 metal/nonmetal safety and health standards frequently cited in fatal accident investigations and grouped them into nine accident categories: falls from elevation, falls of roof and rib, operating mobile equipment (surface and underground), maintenance, lock and tag out, blocking against motion, and struck-by mobile equipment (surface and underground).
During the nine-year period, the highest number of coal mine fatalities occurred in West Virginia (94), followed by Kentucky (78). The highest number of metal/nonmetal mine fatalities occurred in Nevada (26), followed by Texas (21).
The fatality prevention initiative will roll out in two phases: industry outreach and focused inspections. During the first phase, MSHA will disseminate information detailing the causes of the targeted fatal accidents to every mine operator, labor organization and state training grantee, as well as other stakeholders. The MSHA Web site will provide compliance assistance materials such as engineering suggestions, packages of safety target materials and other information to ensure that mine operators and miners have the necessary resources to address and eliminate workplace hazards.
In mid-March, MSHA will begin focused inspections by paying special attention to violations of the 24 standards and reminding mine inspectors to carefully evaluate gravity and negligence - consistent with the seriousness of the violation - when citing violations of the standards that have tended to cause or contribute to mining fatalities. All mine inspectors will receive online training on inspector laptop applications specific to this initiative, enforcement summaries and inspector tip sheets.
"With the full support of the mining industry, 'Rules to Live By' should make great strides in preventing fatal accidents," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.
As Attorney Karen Johnston at Jackson Kelly says, “there can be few things as dry as a federal agency’s Congressional Budget Justification but the 85-page document that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently released to justify its FY2011 budget submission to Congress has some interesting information for mine operators. The budget submission reflects the agency’s expected emphasis on health issues and impoundments and references the recently-announced enforcement program for priority standards.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2010) - Augusta Resource Corporation (TSX: AZC.TO)(NYSE Amex: AZC) ("Augusta" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with TD Securities Inc. and Wellington West Capital Markets Inc. as joint lead managers and joint bookrunners, which will include a syndicate of underwriters (collectively, the "Underwriters"), for the issuance of 11,820,000 common shares (the "Shares") of the Company, on a bought deal basis, at a price of Cdn$2.75 per Share for gross proceeds of Cdn$32,505,000.
Recently the Inspectors from the Arizona Mine Inspectors office made a Health & Safety Inspection of Denison’s Arizona 1 mine. The mine is located north of the Grand Canyon and forty five miles from Fredonia Arizona. ASMI Inspectors discovered the underground uranium mine is now fully permitted and began production mid December of 2009. The mine shaft sunk in the mid 80s was closed and made secure, then after twenty years Uranium mining in Arizona makes a comeback. The hoist, shaft and underground were rehabilitated, starting in late 2007 a ventilation and secondary escape way completed in 2008.
The mining method will be a combination of long hole and shrinkage stoping methods in a breccia type deposit. Current production is set for 340 tons per day, four days a week. The ore is trucked 315 miles to the Denison’s White Mesa mill in Utah for processing.
The other Denison properties in Arizona include the Pinenut which was in production during the 80’s and is in care and maintenance awaiting permits. The Canyon was never fully developed and is a secure site. The Kanab North was mined and closed in the 80’s and is now secure. The EZ1 and EZ2 have not been developed.
Rep. Russell L. Jones, R-Yuma, is sponsoring legislation that would allow waste tires in mines in a five-year demonstration project. House Bill 2290 would allow the Arizona state mine inspector to test tires in five abandoned or inactive mines.
Planting for erosion control isn’t like tending a garden. The scale of such projects—often covering acres or miles—makes it impossible to give each site the “tender loving care” one might lavish on a favorite flowerbed. Yet the required tasks are somewhat the same; one chooses the right seeds for the site and climate, uses mulch to keep the soil moist and combat weeds, and enriches the soil to make sure it provides the best growing medium.
The Mine Inspector’s Office sealed 43 mine openings during an operation from Nov. 4 until Nov. 11 that was intended to make the area surrounding the Pearl Mine safer for all-terrain vehicles, hikers and horses.
The U.S. Mining Health and Safety Administration has reported that 2009 had the lowest number of fatalities nationwide on record last year with 16 deaths from metal and non-metal mining accidents and 18 deaths in coal mine-related accidents, for a combined total of 34 deaths. That is a big drop from 2008's lowest-ever record of 52 mining fatalities. There was one mining-related death in Arizona last year.
Joe Hart is the Arizona State Mine Inspector. He is a 4th generation Arizonan and was born and raised in Kingman. His family has been involved in mining in Arizona since the late 1800’s owning and operating mines in Arizona. Joe has been married to his wife, Rhonda for 42 years and they have 4 daughters and 8 grandchildren.
Upon graduation, Joe went to work for the Duval Mining Corporation. During his 20 years with Duval he learned every aspect of the mining operations. He worked as Safety Supervisor until the mine closed in the early 1980’s. This time spent has built a solid relationship with miners, engineers, geologists and mine owners alike. At that time Joe and his wife Rhonda purchased New West Broadcasting and have been in the radio and television business for 25 years.
Joe also served for 10 years in the Arizona House of Representatives. during his tenure he served four years as Speaker Pro Tempore. Joe Hart is a proven leader who understands the issues affecting the Arizona mining industry. Joe is a staunch advocate for mine safety, reclamation, strong leadership and integrity. In addition, Joe is a strong advocate for private property rights.