Workbooks to teach children about the dangers of abandoned mines are being distributed to nearly 30,000 of Utah's fourth-grade students by the state's Division of Oil, Gas and Mining.

The workbook "Mining Utah's Heritage" was produced by the Utah Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program, which is working to close dangerous mine openings throughout the state. The workbook complements the fourth-grade history curriculum but may be used with children of other ages and is available for Scout and civic groups, said Fran Craigle of the Division of Oil, Gas and Mining.Besides warning of the hazards of mine openings, the book teaches about the importance of mining and about Utah's mining heritage.

"In the past several years there have been serious injuries and several deaths related to abandoned mines in Utah," said Mary Ann Wright, the program's coordinator. "Since Utah has about 10,000 mine openings, it will take many years to close all of them."

Meanwhile, the state is working hard to educate citizens, particularly schoolchildren, about the dangers of abandoned mines, she said.

"Mining Utah's Heritage" can be obtained by contacting the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program, Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, 3 Triad Center, Suite 350, Salt Lake City, UT 84180. The program's telephone number is 538-5340.