Mines gear up

National, Normal

FOUR major players in the Papua New Guinea mining industry have got together to stage the first ever PNG Mines Emergency Response Challenge for mines in the country.
The PNG Mines Emergency Response Committee (ERC), comprising senior asset protection and occupational health and safety (OHS) representatives from Ok Tedi Mining Ltd, Porgera Joint Venture (Barrick Niugini Ltd), Newcrest Lihir Ltd and Morobe Mining Joint Ventures (MMJV), including PNG chief mines inspector, Mohan Singh, met for the second time to iron out details for the new concept.
The event is envisioned to become an ongoing event for mining establishments operating in PNG and staging the Inaugural PNG Mines Emergency Response Challenge will be one aspect of developing closer partnerships and interaction amongst the different industry players.
Chairman of the interim PNG Mines ERC and PJV OHS manager, Tony Anderson, said it was the first time such an event would be held in PNG and there was much anticipation to see it become a success.
“This is the birth of a concept in PNG that really is quite common in many countries in the world that have operating mines.
“But what we would really want to see go from this event onwards is an exchange of ideas, training resources and expertise in the areas of occupational health and safety,” he said.
It was agreed that there were many benefits that could be derived from such an event including helping to raise the standards in OHS as a fundamental part of any operation and not just in mining.
According to the ERC, mines in PNG have the emergency response capacity and the capability, but there is no platform to exhibit those capabilities.
This has the potential for being a catalyst that leads other players in different mines and industries and their partners such as transport companies and engineering firms to take a much more active interest in safety as a priority and also benefit from the kind of ideas and knowledge generation that such meetings can bring about.
MMJV will host the inaugural PNG Mines Emergency Response Challenge early next year where a series of scenarios such as fire fighting, breathing apparatus, emergency first aid response, vehicle and rope rescue by the participating mines will be staged at the Lae Show Grounds.