The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has acquired a 465-acre site in Mace, West Virginia, for a new research facility.

In a press release, the CDC said the facility would house research programs on miner safety and health issues. The structure will be named the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Underground Mine Safety and Health Research Laboratory.

The acquired land is located off U.S. Route 219 in Randolph and Pocahontas Counties near Mace. The laboratory will replace the former Lake Lynn Experiment Mine in Fayette County, Pennsylvania.

The country’s health protection agency will begin planning, designing and constructing the facility this March. The completion of the mining industry-focused research facility will likely take three years after construction starts.

“The mission of the NIOSH Mining Program is to eliminate mining fatalities, injuries and illnesses through relevant research and impactful solutions,” NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., M.P.H., said in the press release.

He continued, “The new facility will allow NIOSH to once again conduct full-scale mine explosion studies, support research on various topics such as refuge alternatives and fire suppression and address other issues critical to the safety and health of mine workers.”

After the closing of the Lake Lynn Laboratory, critical research involving the mining industry had to be suspended. Josh Bornstein, M.P.A., the director of CDC’s Office of Safety, Security and Asset Management, said research efforts would be redirected to the new facility.

“Building this facility supports CDC’s master-plan goals to modernize existing laboratory space where economically and programmatically feasible, and to construct new facilities when required,” Bornstein added.

According to the CDC, the mining industry requires solutions to health and safety problems for workers in all types of mines, including sand, gravel, coal, crushed stone, metal and industrial minerals. Through its research efforts, it seeks to reduce occupational and physical hazards and improve the post-disaster survivability of miners.