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Msha Requirements For Medium Scale Mining

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I plan to use a John Deere 310 backhoe loader to run some old tailings through a wash plant that can process upto 40 yards/hour.  I would say I will mostly be sampling in nature during next summer. I don't plan to have any employees and will be located in fairly remote Alaska where I have a few claims.  Can anyone explain what types of MSHA requirements would apply to me operating on my claims?  Am I required to have training? on site inspections?  Several other medium size mines in the area state they have never done anything with MSHA nor seen them in the area.  It would be easy to ignore, but I want to follow the rules as best I can.

I realize there are other agencies/applications but my question is directed towards MSHA requirements.  I have tried to sort through their website and like many government agencies, it is not really very clear. 

Thanks in advance.


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I have no expertise on MSHA.  Hopefully, someone that does will reply.

However, if you look into the Act that created MSHA, you might get your answers.

Look at:  The Federal Mine Safety and Helath Act of 1977.  It was amended in 2006.




SEC. 4. Each coal or other mine, the products of which enter commerce, or
the operations or products of which affect commerce, and each operator of such
mine, and every miner in such mine shall be subject to the provisions of this Act.


(30 U.S.C. 803) Enacted December 30, 1969, P.L. 91–173, sec. 4, 83 Stat. 744; amended November 9, 1977,
P.L. 95–164, title I, sec. 102©, 91 Stat. 1291. 


 “commerce” means trade, traffic, commerce, transportation, or            

communication among the several States, or between a place in a State and any
place outside thereof, or within the District of Columbia or a possession of the
United States, or between points in the same State but through a point outside


Does it sound like this applies to you?

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 MSHA says you are required to having training even if you are a single owner/operator with no employees.

You would need the Surface training only. If you have never had any training, you would need the "new miner"

2-day class. After that it is an 8 hour refresher class yearly.

 Not sure where you are located but there are MSHA classes offered quite often.


 Yes, many guys try and stay under the radar and ignore the requirement.

 I would suggest if you can to take the class. 

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Thanks Dick, I appreciate the info. 


I am located in Minnesota and will see what I can do to take the course.  I saw that they had some online training, but don't think I will get that lucky, so I may have to take a trip to where the class is offered.

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