SEC proposes new mining, minerals rules

Federal regulators are proposing new reporting requirements for public companies that operate mines, pull oil or gas out of the ground or use certain minerals from Africa in their products.

The Securities and Exchange Commission voted Wednesday to propose the new rules under the financial overhaul law enacted in July. The regulators' goal is to make companies engaged in controversial activities more accountable about them to shareholders.

Public companies that operate mines would be required to provide information in periodic SEC reports on health and safety violations as well as any notices from the U.S. Labor Department indicating that a mine has a pattern of violating health or safety standards.

The proposals are open for public comment until Jan. 31.