Black blasting powder shall not be stored or used underground. Mudcaps (adobes) or other unconfined shots shall not be fired underground.
Explosives and detonators shall be kept in separate containers until immediately before blasting. In underground anthracite mines, (1) mudcaps or other open, unconfined shake shots may be fired, if restricted to battery starting when methane or a fire hazard is not present, and if it is otherwise impracticable to start the battery; (2) open, unconfined shake shots in pitching veins may be fired, when no methane or fire hazard is present, if the taking down of loose hanging coal by other means is too hazardous; and (3) tests for methane shall be made immediately before such shots are fired and if 1.0 volume per centum or more of methane is present, when tested, such shot shall not be made until the methane content is reduced below 1.0 volume per centum.
Except as provided in this subsection, in all underground areas of a coal mine only permissible explosives, electric detonators of proper strength, and permissible blasting devices shall be used and all explosives and blasting devices shall be used in a permissible manner. Permissible explosives shall be fired only with permissible shot firing units. Only incombustible materials shall be used for stemming boreholes. The Secretary may, under such safeguards as he may prescribe, permit the firing of more than twenty shots and allow the use of nonpermissible explosives in sinking shafts and slopes from the surface in rock. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the use of compressed air blasting.
Explosives or detonators shall be transported in special closed containers (1) in cars moved by means of a locomotive or rope, (2) on belts, (3) in shuttle cars, or (4) in equipment designed especially to transport such explosives or detonators.
When supplies of explosives and detonators for use in one or more working sections are stored underground, they shall be kept in section boxes or magazines of substantial construction with no metal exposed on the inside, located at least twenty-five feet from roadways and power wires, and in a dry, well rock-dusted location protected from falls of roof, except in pitching beds, where it is not possible to comply with the location requirement, such boxes shall be placed in niches cut into the solid coal or rock.
Explosives and detonators stored in the working places shall be kept in separate closed containers which shall be located out of the line of blast and not less than fifty feet from the working face and fifteen feet from any pipeline, powerline, rail, or conveyor, except that, if kept in niches in the rib, the distance from any pipeline, powerline, rail, or conveyor shall be at least five feet. Such explosives and detonators, when stored, shall be separated by a distance of at least five feet.