Title 43

SECTION 3930.12

3930.12 Performance standards for underground mining.

§ 3930.12 Performance standards for underground mining.

(a) Underground mining operations must be conducted in a manner to prevent the waste of oil shale, to conserve recoverable oil shale reserves, and to protect other resources. The BLM must approve in writing permanent abandonment and operations that render oil shale inaccessible.

(b) The operator/lessee must adopt mining methods that ensure the proper recovery of recoverable oil shale reserves.

(c) Operators/lessees must adopt measures consistent with known technology to prevent or, where the mining method used requires subsidence, control subsidence, maximize mine stability, and maintain the value and use of surface lands. If the POD indicates that pillars will not be removed and controlled subsidence is not part of the POD, the POD must show that pillars of adequate dimensions will be left for surface stability, considering the thickness and strength of the oil shale beds and the strata above and immediately below the mined interval.

(d) The lessee/operator must have the BLM's approval to temporarily abandon a mine or portions thereof.

(e) The operator/lessee must have the BLM's prior approval to mine any recoverable oil shale reserves or drive any underground workings within 50 feet of any of the outer boundary lines of the federally-leased or federally-licensed land. The BLM may approve operations closer to the boundary after taking into consideration state and Federal environmental laws and regulations.

(f) The lessee/operator must have the BLM's prior approval before drilling any lateral holes within 50 feet of any outside boundary.

(g) Either the operator/lessee or the BLM may initiate the proposal to mine oil shale in a barrier pillar if the oil shale in adjoining lands has been mined out. The lessee/operator of the Federal oil shale must enter into an agreement with the owner of the oil shale in those adjacent lands prior to mining the oil shale remaining in the Federal barrier pillars (which otherwise may be lost).

(h) The BLM must approve final abandonment of a mining area.