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June 6, 2013
In Reply Refer To:
3400, 3500, 3900 (320) P         
Information Bulletin No. 2013-078
To:                  All State Directors
                       Attn: Solid Minerals Program Leads
From:              Assistant Director, Minerals and Realty Management
Subject:           Training Availability – Mineral Mine Inspector Certification Course 3400-02                                                                                                     

As directed in Instruction Memorandum (IM) No. 2011-128, a certified Mineral Mine Inspector (MMI) must inspect all Federal and Indian solid mineral leases. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) state directors must certify each MMI who has received the mandatory training, requisite education credentials, and required experience to demonstrate the necessary competence, knowledge, and skills to enable him or her to successfully monitor and measure compliance with lease terms, BLM-approved exploration or mine plans, and other applicable regulatory requirements.  

Personnel not yet certified but assigned solid leasable inspection and enforcement or production verification duties must successfully complete the MMI Certification Course. A passing grade is 80 percent, but a potential MMI can take the test multiple times.   
The BLM designed this self-study, distance learning course to prepare coal, non-energy leasable, and oil shale inspectors for BLM exploration and mine inspection and enforcement, production verification, and exploration and mine plan review procedures and requirements. There are six modules in this self-study distance-learning training course.
Module 1-Policy

Module 1 provides the potential MMI the policy and administrative requirements such as the application process and maintenance of MMI certificates. The policy delineates the education, experience (prior to working for BLM and as a potential MMI), safety training, professional training, and annual safety and professional training required to become an MMI and maintain that certification. 

Module 2-Exploration

Module 2 provides the potential MMIs with the established requirements necessary to review and recommend approval of Federal and Indian exploration plans, and their associated use authorization (licenses, permits, or leases). In addition to the established requirements and authorizations, the MMI must be familiar with the Interagency Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding consultation, coordination, cooperation, and other agency roles, responsibilities, and approvals necessary to perform exploration on Federal and Indian minerals. 
Module 3-Federal Non-Energy, Oil Shale and Indian Mining Plans
Module 3 provides Federal and Indian mining plan definitions, requirements, and review and approval processes to the potential MMI to assist him or her in acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary to evaluate plans and make recommendations of approval for non-energy Federal minerals and Indian minerals. The potential MMI’s experience and education must supplement this information to be able to evaluate surface and underground mining plans.  Module 3 introduces the potential MMI to the BLM and Indian regulatory requirements, interagency cooperation, and defined terms such as ultimate maximum recovery (UMR).   
Module 4-Coal Mining Plans
BLM mining plans, and Resource Recovery and Protection Plans, have specific requirements, delineated by definitions and regulatory requirements. Title 25 CFR 216 defines Indian mining plans. The Office of Surface Mining defines the Federal mining plan as that provided in the Mineral Leasing Act of February 25, 1920, as amended (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.). Module 4 provides the potential MMI the distinctions between these plans, requirements of each, and the agency coordination necessary to recommend approval of the plans or modifications. The MMI experience and education must supplement this information to be able to evaluate surface and underground mining plans.  Module 4 discusses several important topics in this section such as maximum economic recovery (MER), coal reserve base, minable reserve base, and recoverable coal reserve base
Module 5-Inspection and Enforcement
Module 5 provides the potential MMI inspection and enforcement (I&E) procedures and standards through which they will monitor and enforce the established requirements for both coal and non-energy leases. This module provides the potential MMI with BLM policy on the requirements for maintaining an inspection plan, the frequency of inspections for active and inactive leases, documentation of inspection findings, and the types of inspections required (e.g., exploration, production, MER, or UMR plan compliance and abandonment). Module 5 provides the types of corrective enforcement actions that the MMI must take for non-compliance. 
Module 6-Production Verification
Module 6 provides the potential MMI production verification (PV) procedures and standards through which they will monitor mineral production, storage, and sales to independently verify that the mineral quantities and qualities reported by the lessee to the Office of Natural Resources Revenue are reasonable. In addition, Module 6 provides requirements for maintaining a PV plan, timing the frequency of PV inspections, documenting inspection findings, and using the lessee accounting methodology for tracking production, storage, and sales. Module 6 also provides the types of corrective actions that she or he must take for irregularities and non-compliance.
There is no tuition fee for this course.
If you have any questions concerning the content of this Information Bulletin, please contact me at 202-208-4201, or your staff may contact the Solid Minerals Division Chief Mitchell Leverette, 202-912-7113, email address mleveret@blm.gov; Vince Vogt, 202‑912-7125, email address vvogt@blm.gov; or John Lewis, 202-912-7117, email address j35lewis@blm.gov.
Signed by:                                                        Authenticated by:
Michael Nedd                                                    Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                             Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Minerals and Realty Management

Last updated: 06-18-2013