(a) Where a new opening(s) is proposed to be developed by shaft, slope, or drift from the surface to, or in, any coalbed and the operator considers such proposed new opening(s) to be a part of a mine coming under section 305(a)(2) of the Act and § 75.501 the operator shall so notify the District Manager for the District in which the mine is located in writing prior to the date any actual development (in coal) through such opening(s) is undertaken. Such notification shall include the following information:
(1) Name, address, and identification number of the existing mine.
(2) A current map of the existing mine clearly setting out the proposed new opening(s), mining plan and planned interconnection, if any, with existing workings.
(3) A statement as to when the operator obtained the right to mine the coal which the proposed new opening(s) will traverse.
(4) The name of the coalbeds currently being mined and those which the new opening(s) will traverse.
(5) The expected life of the mine.
(6) The reason(s) for the proposed new opening(s) (for example, haulage, ventilation, drainage, to avoid bad roof, escapeway).
The District Manager shall require submission of any additional information he considers pertinent.
(b) The District Manager shall make a determination based on all of the information submitted by the operator as to whether the proposed new opening(s) will be considered as a part of the existing mine or as a new mine. The following guidelines and criteria shall be used by the District Manager in making his determination:
(1) The effect that the proposed new opening(s) will have on the safety of the men working in the existing mine shall be considered of primary importance.
(2) Whether the operator had a right to mine the coal which the proposed new openings will traverse prior to the date of enactment of the Act (December 30, 1969) and whether the original mining plan included mining such coal.
(3) Whether, in accordance with the usual mining practices common to the particular district, the proposed new openings would have been considered a new mine or part of the existing mine. A number of factors will be considered including, but not limited to:
(i) The relationship between the coalbeds currently being mined, and those proposed to be mined;
(ii) The distance between existing openings and the proposed new opening(s);
(iii) The projected time elapsing between the start of the new opening(s) and planned interconnection, if any, with the existing mine; and
(iv) The projected tonnage of coal which is expected to be mined prior to interconnection where interconnection is planned.
The District Manager shall notify the operator in writing within 30 days of receiving all of the information, required and requested, of his determination. No informal notification shall be given.
(c) All new opening(s) shall be operated as a new mine prior to receiving a written notification from the District Manager that such new opening(s) will be considered part of an existing mine coming under section 305(a)(2) of the Act and § 75.501.
(d) Nothing in this § 75.501-3 shall be construed to relieve the operator from compliance with any of the mandatory standards contained in this Part 75.
[37 FR 8949, May 3, 1972]