Digitized Mine Maps
Abandoned mines exist throughout the country, with approximately 300,000 abandoned mines located in the Appalachian region. Abandoned mines create safety concerns for active underground mining operations and surface facilities. There have been many instances of active mines unintentionally cutting into adjacent mines which were not properly identified prior to mining. Between 1995 and 2002, mine operators reported 181 mine inundations, 107 of which were unplanned cut-throughs. The location and extent of old workings are often unknown because mine maps were unavailable, or existing maps were incomplete or inaccurate.
In recognition of the problems involving mine maps, the United States Congress appropriated $10 million to MSHA for "Digitizing mine maps and developing technologies to detect mine voids, through contracts, grants, or other arrangements." Approximately $3.9 million was allocated as state grants to establish programs for digitizing underground maps for abandoned mines and making them available digitally to the public. The states developed and enhanced systems for collecting, digitizing, geo-referencing, archiving, ground-truthing, validating, and delivering mine maps, according to defined needs of each individual state.
The following websites show publically available mine maps. These sites are in various stages of development and are continuously being updated. While attempts to geo-reference some of the available mine maps have been made, the accuracy of the mine workings depicted should be viewed as an approximation only. For critical applications, the presence or absence of underground mine workings should always be independently verified.
Other website providers of downloadable digitized mine maps should contact James Pfeifer at firstname.lastname@example.org to have their links added to this single source website.
USGS - Mine & Processing Plant locations:
OSMRE - National Mine Map Repository (Maps not online but can be ordered from OSMRE):
http://www.ysu.edu/mines/search_mines.php?link=search (includes portions of Pennsylvania)