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Indiana Department of Labor

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Bureau of Mines Home

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The Bureau of Mines, headquartered in Vincennes, Indiana, inspects all Indiana underground coal mining operations and certifies specific mining occupations. The Bureau also maintains a mine rescue station, trains mine rescue teams, and collects and indexes mine maps. Currently there are eight active underground mines in the State of Indiana. View the list of Indiana's Underground Coal Mines.

The Indiana General Assembly established the Indiana Bureau of Mines and Mine Safety in 1945 as a Bureau within the Indiana Department of Labor, although state authority to regulate mine safety existed in other forms much earlier than 1945. For general information on the structure of the Indiana Bureau of Mines and Mine Safety, see Indiana Code 22-1-1-4 et seq. After the United States Congress passed the federal Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006, the Indiana General Assembly aligned most state law requirements with federal requirements, and generally mines are required to follow the regulatory standards of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Nevertheless, Indiana still prescribes a number of duties to mine operators, the mining board, and the Bureau of Mines. You can read the state law requirements at Indiana Code 22-10 et seq.

Bureau of Mines Contact: Don “Blink” McCorkle, Construction Technology Building at Vincennes University, 324 West Red Skelton Boulevard, Vincennes, Indiana 47591.  Contact the Indiana Bureau of Mines by telephone at (812) 888-4514.

The Mining Board oversees all certification testing for underground miners on a quarterly basis. The five mining board members are appointed by the governor. Testing takes place for certifications for mine foreman, mine examiner, belt examiner, hoisting engineer, and shot firer.

ANNUAL COAL REPORTS

MINE INSPECTION REPORTS

Indiana law requires an inspection of each underground mine at least once per quarter by the Bureau of Mines.  The Assistant Commissioner and Chief Mine Inspector of the Bureau of Mines, who are certified mine formen, conducts these inspections.  The federal inspectors of MSHA conduct much more frequent inspections of each mine.  

Mine Inspection Reports

OTHER MINING NEWS

  • Bureau of Mine's Preliminary Accident Report for Fatality at Gibson Mine March 25, 2014
  • Bureau of Mine's Final Accident Report for Fatality at Prosperity Mine October 11, 2013
  • MSHA Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Interstate Mining Compact Commission to Coordinate Timely Communication
  • Bureau of Mine's Final Report January 20, 2009 for Fatality at Gibson Mine June 3, 2008
  • June 2008 Indiana Mine Rescue Association Contest
  • Bureau of Mine's Preliminary Accident Report for Fatality at Gibson Mine June 3, 2008
  • The Bureau of Mines, on April 25, 2008, completed three of four command center training drills involving each of Indiana’s underground coal mines.  Training in smoke, fire, confined space, underground rescue team practice, and command center practice in collaboration with MSHA officials, law enforcement officials, Bureau of Mine officials and mock press and family briefings was undertaken.  Federal and state Department of Labor officials were also present to observe the drill.
  • The Bureau of Mines was awarded a $50,000 competitive federal grant from MSHA in September 2007 for enhanced command center training for Indiana’s underground coal mines.  The training is being conducted quarterly, and includes mock command center drills and additional underground training for mine rescue teams. The Bureau of Mines was a co-recipient of the grant together with Vincennes University where the federally funded miner refresher training is located.
  • Bureau of Mine's March 3, 2008 Final Accident Report for Gibson Mine/Frontier Kemper Fatalities of August 10, 2007
  • Bureau of Mine's Preliminary Accident Report for Fatality at Gibson Mine August 10, 2007
  • Indiana Coal Mining Laws  (NEW) 8.5 X 11
  • Indiana Coal Mining Laws  (NEW) Booklet
  • SAFETY FACTS

    Indiana Coal Mine Safety Statistics PowerPoint August 2007
    Coal mining is regulated under a comprehensive federal safety law (Federal Mine Safety and Health Act) that is administered by the Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

    • Underground coal mines are thoroughly inspected at least four times a year.
    • With 584 coal mine inspectors - about one for every four coal mines - MSHA spends on average over 200 hours annually inspecting each coal mine.
    • MSHA and its inspectors:
      • issue citations and establish a time frame for correcting violations;
      • remove miners from all or part of a mine in the face of hazardous conditions or repeated failures to correct violations; and
      • levy fines that increase with the severity of the violation.
    • Coal miners can report violations and can request additional inspections and cannot lose their jobs for doing so.