MSHA splits largest mine district

THE US Mine Safety and Health Administration will split the jurisdiction of its largest mining district in southern West Virginia, District 4, and establish a new District 12 in the second fiscal quarter.

Donna Schmidt
MSHA splits largest mine district

Of the nation’s 2100 coal operations, about 400 lie within the existing District 4 boundaries. The agency’s office in Mount Hope has the most staff of all 11 districts nationwide, but also the heaviest workload due to the smallest ratio of managers and supervisors to line staff.

District 4 oversees 27% of all mechanized mining units in the US, versus 14% in the next biggest district. During the 2009 fiscal year, district staff issued 47% more citations than the next most active district with 23,282.

“Although coal production is declining in some districts, the increase in production of southern West Virginia coal, with its high carbon and low sulfur content, appears to be a long-term trend,” MSHA said.

The new office for District 12 will be headquartered in Pineville, West Virginia, and will be staffed with MSHA employees from District 4 and other districts. The agency is seeking to hire a district manager to establish an organizational structure like that of other comparably sized districts.

“Resources must be reallocated to allow MSHA’s coal division to effectively carry out its mission, including new administration initiatives designed to strengthen health and safety protections for the nation’s miners,” assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health Joseph Main said.

“MSHA is committed to implementing management reforms that will increase the agency’s efficiency and effectiveness within a significantly constrained budget framework.”

Start-up costs for District 12 are estimated at $US491,000 and annual rental costs for the office will be about $634,000. MSHA has included the figures in its budget request for the 2012 fiscal year, which is currently being evaluated by the US government.


A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining Monthly Intelligence team.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining Monthly Intelligence team.


Mining Magazine Intelligence Future Fleets Report 2024

The report paints a picture of the equipment landscape and includes detailed profiles of mines that are employing these fleets


Mining Magazine Intelligence Digitalisation Report 2023

An in-depth review of operations that use digitalisation technology to drive improvements across all areas of mining production


Mining Magazine Intelligence Automation Report 2023

An in-depth review of operations using autonomous solutions in every region and sector, including analysis of the factors driving investment decisions


Mining Magazine Intelligence Exploration Report 2023 (feat. Opaxe data)

A comprehensive review of current exploration rates, trending exploration technologies, a ranking of top drill intercepts and a catalogue of 2022 Initial Resource Estimates and recent discovery successes.