SEC Adopts Dodd-Frank Mine Safety Disclosure Requirements
The Securities and Exchange Commission has adopted new rules outlining how mining companies must disclose the mine safety information required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Under Section 1503 of the Dodd-Frank Act, mining companies are required to include information about mine safety and health in the quarterly and annual reports they file with the SEC.
The Dodd-Frank Act disclosure requirements are based on the safety and health requirements that apply to mines under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, which is administered by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
The new SEC rules, which take effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, specifically require those companies to provide mine-by-mine totals for significant and substantial violations of mandatory health or safety standards under section 104 of the Mine Act for which the operator received a citation from MSHA; orders under section 104(b) of the Mine Act; citations and orders for unwarrantable failure of the mine operator to comply with section 104(d) of the Mine Act; flagrant violations under section 110(b)(2) of the Mine Act; imminent danger orders issued under section 107(a) of the Mine Act; the dollar value of proposed assessments from MSHA; notices from MSHA of a pattern of violations or potential to have a pattern of violations under section 104(e) of the Mine Act; pending legal actions before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission; and mining-related fatalities.
The accompanying instructions specify that a mining company must report the total penalties assessed in the reporting period, even if the company is contesting an assessment. For legal actions, mining companies are instructed to report the number instituted and resolved during the reporting period, report the number pending on the last day of the reporting period, and categorize the actions based on the type of proceeding.
In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act added a requirement for U.S. companies to file a Form 8-K when they receive notice from MSHA of an imminent danger order under section 107(a) of the Mine Act; notice of a pattern of violations under section 104(e) of the Mine Act, or notice of the potential to have a pattern of such violations.
The new SEC rules specify that the Form 8-K must be filed within four business days and include the type of notice received, the date it was received, and the name and location of the mine involved. The new rules specify that a late filing of the Form 8-K will not affect a company’s eligibility to use Form S-3 short-form registration.