MSHA Mines & Production

The US Mining Safety and Health Administration provides information about mines and mine production, including production, employment and additional operational data.  This data is available in its current format starting in the year 2000.

Benefits & Opportunities

Having total coal production numbers for each mine would let us understand how important any individual coal plant or utility is to the economic viability of that mine. Having employment numbers for each mines would let us better understand the labor and economic implications of coal plant closures. Proactively addressing economic dislocation issues resulting from the energy transition may (eventually) help blunt political opposition in rural areas currently dependent on mining or coal plants for their livelihood.

Tracking coal production location and the delivered costs to regulated utilities that have to report their costs may allow us to better estimate delivered fuel costs for merchant generators who do not report these costs. This would facilitate automatic replication of economic analyses like this one from Joe Daniels at the Union of Concerned Scientists (indicating that self-dispatching regulated coal plants selling into competitive markets are under-responsive to price signals, costing ratepayers billions of dollars a year) but based entirely on open, publicly accessible data rather that proprietary merchant fuel cost estimates.

Who would use it?

  • Users interested in the economics of coal supply, and changes in patterns of supply as economics & productivity of mines evolve over time.
  • Users concerned with the economic impacts of mine closures on mining communities, resulting from decreased demand for coal such as: Just Transition Fund, Headwaters Economics Institute, Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC), and other mine reclamation advocates.

What is contained in the dataset?

  • Coal production & employment by mine at up to quarterly frequency.
  • Employee accidents & injuries, updated weekly.
  • Air quality, noise, and other environmental hazard sample data.
  • History of mine and operator safety violations, as well as citations.
  • History of who has operated / owned which mines at which times.
  • Data is updated between weekly and annually. Mine production information that we would be most interested in is available at quarterly and annual resolution.
  • Data is provided as well structured CSV files containing all years of data in one file. Each file represents one database table. Integration should be straightforward. They even provide some meta data.
  • Unique IDs for the MSHA mines and producers are referenced in the EIA 923 Fuel Receipts and Costs table. Having the original MSHA mines data would allow us to integrate additional information about the location, ownership, productivity, etc. of the mines supplying coal plants.
  • Size of the dataset is 100s of MB.