Sharing Vision, Sharing Knowledge: Canada unites international mine rescue experts at sixth biennial IMRB conference
Some 200 delegates from more than a dozen countries around the world met for the sixth biennial conference of the International Mines Rescue Body in Niagara Falls, Canada, October 5 to 10, 2013. The conference featured numerous presentations by mine rescue professionals and volunteers, as well as researchers and experts in topics and issues of importance to emergency response in mining. The unique mine rescue event featured presentations on the use of wireless video in mine rescue, emerging rescue technologies, virtual emergency mine training, emergency response in deep mines, and many more topics on the organizational and technical aspects of mine rescue.
Sharing Vision, Sharing Knowledge
Key individuals from government, industry and the IMRB shared their thoughts on the importance of emergency preparedness, planning and response initiatives in mining worldwide. Following the IMRB 2013 motto "Sharing Vision, Sharing Knowledge", participants exchanged their knowledge, experiences, and visions during the two conference days October 8 and 9.
The Niagara Falls conference was hosted by the Canadian mining industry, the Canadian Association of Chief Inspectors of Mines, and Canadian mine rescue organizations to share knowledge and expertise in mine emergency response.
Impressive insight into Candian mining operations
Following the conference days, mine tours in the Sudbury Basin, one of Canada's largest mining centres, gave impressive insight into mining operations, and ample opportunities to network and connect. These included
- KGHM International's Craig Mine/Morrison Deposit - including Craig Mine's underground operations (shops, crusher, etc.), followed by narrow veined mining at the Morrison deposit, and the development complex.
- Vale's Creighton Mine with the SNOLAB (Sudbury Neutrino Observatory) as well as Vale's Creighton Deep project, more than 2,000 metres underground.
- Sudbury INO NRS with surface and underground features at a state-of-the-art mining operation, including the mine rescue room, an underground refuge station, and various operations.
Glencore's Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (INO) introduced Nickel Rim South mine, currently Sudbury's largest mining operation. Sudbury INO consist of underground mines, a mill and a smelter, employing a total of approximately 1,200 permanent employees. As a part of its zero-harm policy, the operator showed a film focusing on the workers' involvement in health and safety. In an impressively emotional approach, Rim South miners explain why they work safely -- for their families and loved ones.
Outlook: IMRB 2015 in Hanover/Germany
Closing the successful conference, ISSA Mining Secretary General Helmut Ehnes together with ISSA Mining members Wolfgang Roehl and Roman Preißler of the German Central Mine Rescue Service, gladly introduced themselves as hosts of the International Mines Rescue Body Conference 2015, taking place in Hanover, Germany, 6 – 10 September 2015.
Two representatives from each IMRB member country joined the IMRB Executive Meeting on Sunday October 5, 2013. ISSA Mining General Secretary Helmut Ehnes discussed potential collaboration; the IMRB members agreed to intensify cooperation with ISSA Mining.