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Onslow & Belgrade Quarries NC


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Hi all!

I'm interested in visiting the Onslow and Belgrade Quarries in NC and haven't had much luck finding information. I know we'll need a hardhat, steel toe boots, and safety vest for either.

- What time of the year are they open to fossil hunters (I believe it is only on Friday)?

- Do we need to let them know we're coming in advance?

- Is there a fee? Is tipping encouraged?

- Does one have to be affiliated with the NC Fossil Hunters or other group?

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I went to Belgrade in June. Both quarries allow collecting on Fridays; however, you must call the Thursday before to make sure they are not blasting and that they are allowing people in. You will need steel toed boots, pants, safety vest, and hard hat. Definitely take water and a snack. It can get very hot. You will have to watch a safety video for training purposes so that you will be aware of some of the hazards in the mine (there is large and heavy machinery near the collecting area). Of course you will not get too close to the machinery, but it is good to be aware of what is going on and what different noises may be.

Overall, it is a very fun place to collect at and I found many great teeth (nothing too crazy, just a few high quality teeth in the 1-1.25 inch range and a nice croc tooth. I did find numerous small and broken teeth also.

Finally, if you go to Belgrade keep in mind that there can be some rare fossils found there. For instance, you can find the tiger shark G casei teeth there (last I heard only one of two or three locations) and forum member sixgill pete recently found a serrated toothed whale tooth that he donated to the College of Charleston I believe.

Good luck. Oh and welcome to the forum!

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sixgill pete

Currently as of 01 August 2016 the quarries are closed to collecting. For all groups and individuals. There may be more information coming out soon, but it appears at this time you will have to be MSHA part 46 certified if collectors are allowed in once again. This is from the corporate level and is for all MM quarries throughout the U.S.

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fossilselachian

Currently as of 01 August 2016 the quarries are closed to collecting. For all groups and individuals. There may be more information coming out soon, but it appears at this time you will have to be MSHA part 46 certified if collectors are allowed in once again. This is from the corporate level and is for all MM quarries throughout the U.S.

What sad news!

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sixgill pete

What sad news!

That is extremely unfortunate. Thanks for the update.

Very true. My inside source says it is due to the "expense" involved to MM.

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SailingAlongToo

Currently as of 01 August 2016 the quarries are closed to collecting. For all groups and individuals. There may be more information coming out soon, but it appears at this time you will have to be MSHA part 46 certified if collectors are allowed in once again. This is from the corporate level and is for all MM quarries throughout the U.S.

Don,

Lucky for you (and some other TFF members), you happen to know an MSHA certified instructor. :-) The training does not have to be done all at one time but does need to be completed within 60 days of starting. All we need to do is find a place to have the training convenient to the most people and we are good. I already have all the presentations electronically, the paperwork that needs to be completed showing you've had the training and a PowerPoint projector. We can set up the training anytime.

The other part of this is the initial training is 24 hours, but then you have to have Annual Refresher, obviously annually, and it is 8 hours long. Again, it doesn't all have to be done at one time.

I know the head of MM's NC Safety Dept and will call him and find out exactly what they are looking for and what they will accept.

Jack

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sixgill pete

Don,

Lucky for you (and some other TFF members), you happen to know an MSHA certified instructor. :-) The training does not have to be done all at one time but does need to be completed within 60 days of starting. All we need to do is find a place to have the training convenient to the most people and we are good. I already have all the presentations electronically, the paperwork that needs to be completed showing you've had the training and a PowerPoint projector. We can set up the training anytime.

The other part of this is the initial training is 24 hours, but then you have to have Annual Refresher, obviously annually, and it is 8 hours long. Again, it doesn't all have to be done at one time.

I know the head of MM's NC Safety Dept and will call him and find out exactly what they are looking for and what they will accept.

Jack

That is good news Jack. I have also ( along with some others from the NCFC) been researching training. It seams the NC Dept of Labor will also do the training. But they offer it only in 3 Day Blocks and must be done in the block as they only offer it every 90 days. I will see if I can access a PowerPoint projector and let you know.

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I noticed the online description of the training made mention of "mine visitors". Is the full training needed for visitors, or is there some abbreviated version for visitors, especially considering some mines don't let you into the active pit but restrict collectors to areas where non-commercial material is dumped?

Also are there any mines in NC that would not be affected by this policy?

It would be great for the community if someone could arrange training, although with my own teaching schedule I would likely not be able to afford 3+ days to travel to NC to get certified. If I could get trained locally in Georgia, I wonder if that would be accepted in NC and elsewhere?

Don C (maybe I should start using Don C to avoid being confused with other Don's in this forum).

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SailingAlongToo

Don C. (any anyone else interested,)

I'm an MSHA certified instructor and have been teaching mine safety and health classes for almost 16 years in VA, NC, TN, FL, and GA.

MSHA regs related to training do in fact exclude "visitors" from the need of comprehensive New Miner Training (24 hours) and Annual Refresher Training (8 hours) requirements as you mentioned. However, over the last 5 years or so MSHA has been changing / evolving their definition of "visitor." They are now using an "exposure to mine hazards" definition. So, whether MSHA is requiring New Miner Training for "visitors" who will NOT be escorted or the quarry company is requiring it, this is the way of the future. Previously, visitors who were not escorted were given what MSHA calls "Site Specific Hazard Awareness Training" which most of us have gone through at a bunch of different quarries and even have stickers on our hard hat to show we were trained. For the record, MSHA considers exposure to spoils piles, old pits, mine travel roads, pipelines, etc. to be "exposure to mining hazards." All of which I was exposed to when we collected in Belgrade in late May. Specifically in the case of Belgrade, you drive in towards the big conveyor stacker and hang a right and then a hard left down the steep hill to park. The stacker is mining equipment and water trucks and maintenance service vehicles use the same road we did to drive down to the "fossil collectors" parking area. They drove the trucks within 50 feet of us and we used the same roads as their equipment. Again, exposure to mine hazards. Most mines where I have worked or do consulting require every person who enters the mining environment (mines, pits, stock piles, spoils piles, travel roads, processing buildings or structures, etc.) to go through Site Specific Hazard Awareness Training, regardless of whether they will be escorted or not.

MSHA training is good in all 50 states and US territories. As I stated earlier, New Miner Training does NOT have to be done all at 1 time and can be broken up into multiple sessions but must cover the required subjects for the required amount of time. The specific amount of time for each subject is flexible but must be defined in writing and in the case of New Miner Training, equal 24 hours. New Miner Training must be completed within 60 days of starting the training.

One of the reasons I'm not convinced MSHA is pushing this but rather the mining company is looking to minimize / mitigate their risk is that MSHA New Miner Training includes a portion specific to the individual mine. If a "miner" goes from one mine to another to work, they are required to be given Experienced Miner Training for the new mine. It would cover the specifics to the other mine and would be required for each person and each new mine. That said, MSHA does have requirements in their Program Policy Manual (PPM explains how MSHA is interpreting their regulations) for "persons regularly exposed to mining hazards" to receive comprehensive training (New Miner and Annual Refresher.) In essence, if a person were to go to ABC Quarry a couple of times in a calendar year, they are then interpreted to "have a regular pattern of exposure to mining hazards" and would need comprehensive training.

As for you in GA, the GA Mining Assoc. does MSHA training as do many of the local community colleges. I recommend calling the GMA and telling them what you need. They can point you in the right direction.

Hope this helps. You or anyone else is welcome to PM me if you have other questions more specific to their situation or location.

Jack

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Jack,

Thanks for your very informative comments. I'll see what I can do to get the training around here. I suspect it's only a matter of time before such training becomes necessary everywhere, given liability concerns.

Don

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