Blackwater miners to the rescue
AUSTRALIAN mine rescue competition underway & underground today
Thursday 20 October 2016
The 54th Australian Underground Mines Rescue competition has been underway at Rio Tinto’s Kestrel mine today.
The annual event involves eight mines rescue and emergency response teams from across Queensland and New South Wales competing in a range of simulated emergency situations to test their skills and share their extensive knowledge.
There were a few notable achievements among the teams competing for Queensland this year.
Glencore's having both their Oaky Creek rescue teams represented for the first time, Anglo’s Grosvenor team have made the final four teams after just two years of operation, and the team from Caledon's Cook Colliery are competing for the national title for the first time in 28 years.
Regional Manager for Queensland Mines Rescue, Ray Smith told Shift Miner final results wouldn't be available until tomorrow.
“We have had a good day, with everything running on time,” he said.
“There have been some challenging scenarios for the teams involved, including a virtual reality one which has been a feature of the competition for the last two years.
“But we won’t be able to tally up and release final results until tomorrow.”
Kestrel Mine acting general manager Wouter Niehaus said Rio Tinto was proud to support the competition.
“It plays an important role in helping to continually improve safety in Australian mines,” he said.
“The safety of our people is our priority, and this requires continuous planning and training for emergency situations, and mines rescue competitions put their skills to the test.”
Chief Executive Officer of Queensland Mines Rescue Service David Carey recognised the considerable investment Rio Tinto was making in hosting the event, which he said was critical to mining safety.
“Having access to the mine at Kestrel allows us to test these teams in a realistic environment, which is critical to improving the excellent emergency response capability in the Australian mining industry even further.”