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Mine & Quarry

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Bureau Contact

William Gerringer
Bureau Chief
(919) 807-2790
Fax: (919) 807-2835

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to be licensed or certified to use explosives in North Carolina?
No, North Carolina does not have a blasters certification program. Each city or county government may have permit requirements for the use of explosive materials, which is enforced by the local fire marshal. Specific requirements are in the North Carolina State Building Code, Fire Prevention, Chapter 19, Explosives.

Where do I get assistance if a mining operation throws rock onto my property or does damage to my home as a result of blasting?
Damage to property as a result of mining activities is regulated under the N.C. Mining Act and is enforced by the Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Bureau of Land Resources, Land Quality Section (PO Box 27687, Raleigh, NC 27611 or (919) 733-4572).

What is a mine?
A mine is an area of land and all private ways and roads appurtenant thereto, structures, facilities, machinery, tools, equipment, shafts, slopes, tunnels, excavations, and other property, real or personal, placed or constructed on, under, used in, or to be used in, or resulting from (including the reclamation of mined areas or the storage of materials in mined areas), or to facilitate the work or exploring for, developing of, or extracting by any means of method in such area all minerals, inorganic and organic, from their natural deposits. The term "mine" also includes all mineral processing and milling facilities except those used the processing of source materials as defined in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. Several mine sites in North Carolina adjoin operations that fall under the jurisdiction of NCOSH such as asphalt plant and brick plants. The Mine and Quarry Bureau can assist in determining jurisdiction under OSHA and MSHA.

What is a borrow pit?
A borrow pit is an excavation of soil for the sole purpose of fill material such as road and dam construction or for backfill material. The North Carolina Occupational Safety & Health Division regulates this type of excavation.

Where do I receive the safety and health training required by MSHA 30 CFR, Part 46?
Part 46, Training and Retraining of Miners, required by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, can be obtained from a "competent person." A competent person is a person designated by the production-operator or independent contractor who has the ability, training, knowledge, or experience to provide training to miners in his or her area of expertise. The competent person must be able to effectively communicate the training subject to miners and evaluate whether the training given to miners is effective. A competent person can be any employee of the mine or independent contractor who meets the requirements of the above paragraph. Also, state and federal agencies, manufacturers' representatives, and other organizations specializing in training can be designated as competent persons.

How many mines are there in North Carolina?
There are over 450 mine sites in North Carolina.

What type of minerals are mined in North Carolina?
Minerals mined in North Carolina include but not exclusive: quartz, pyrophyllite, phosphate, olivine, mica, marl, lightweight aggregate, gold, gem stone, spodumene, feldspar, limestone, clay, shale, granite and sand.

What types of mining operations are there in North Carolina?
At the present there is only surface open pit mining in North Carolina. This includes quarrying for crushed granite and limestone, dimension stone for monuments and building blocks; and open pit excavations for minerals such as sand, gravel, clay, shale, marl, etc. There are also various milling processes associated with mining to produce many products.

What are some of the gemstones mined in North Carolina?
Gem stones include ruby, sapphire, emerald, garnet, and quartz crystals.

What is the Mine and Quarry Bureau and what does it do?
The Mine and Quarry Bureau is a bureau within the N.C. Department of Labor charged with the responsibility of enforcing the 1975 Mine Safety and Health Act of North Carolina and conducting a program of inspections, education and training, technical assistance, and consultations to implement provisions of the act. The bureau assists mine and quarry operators in complying with the provisions of the 1977 federal Mine Safety and Health Act, which requires them to train their employees in safe working procedures. The bureau also inspects abandoned mine surfaces for the protection of the general public, promotes rockhound safety, and conducts special training programs relative to the mining industry.


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1101 Mail Service Center • Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1101 •  (919) 807-2796 or 800-NCLABOR.