NEW YORK Noranda Alumina
LLC has received a notice from the Mine Safety and Health
Administration (MSHA) regarding potential safety violations at
its Gramercy facility in St. James County, La.
The Franklin, Tenn.-based
company was one of four operations nationwide to receive
letters putting them on notice about a pattern of potential
violations, MSHA said, noting that the letters came as a result
of more stringent safety screening criteria adopted in
The new criteria better identify
operations that fail to meet safety standards and adequately
train their work force, MSHA said in a statement.
"The revised potential pattern
of violations program, along with other enforcement actions,
such as impact inspections, is making mines safer," said Joseph
A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and
A spokesman for parent company
Noranda Aluminum Holding Corp. told AMM the letters
may be more based on companies compliance history than on
"This determination does not
necessarily represent current conditions or reflect
improvements made over the past 12 months," a Noranda
spokesman said in an e-mail.
Noranda has instituted a safety
training program during the last 12 months, AMM
understands. The company must respond to the letter by Dec.
Other facilities that received
notices included Ten-Mile Coal Co. Inc.s No. 4 mine in
Harrison County, W.Va.; Pike Floyd Mining Inc.s No. 3
mine in Pike County, Ky.; and Argus Energy WV LLCs Deep
Mine No. 8 in Wayne County, W.Va., MSHA said.
In addition, two nonproducing
operations have received warning letters that they will be
subject to review once they return to active status. Fourteen
other operations are also under consideration for potential
patterns of violation, MSHA said, noting that it is currently
verifying injury information self-reported by the operators for
The MSHA did not respond to
calls for comment.