$1million awarded to six U.S mining organisations to improve and enhance mine safety training
The Mine Safety and Health Administration has awarded $1 million to six organisations across the U.S to develop training programs and materials that support mine rescue and mine emergency preparedness for underground mines.
From the U.S Department of Labor, the Brookwood-Sago grant program was created to promote mine safety and honour the 25 men who died in Brookwood, Alabama, in 2001 at the Jim Walters #5 mine, and in Buchannon, West Virginia, in 2006 at the Sago Mine.
Here are the organisations benefiting from the 2016 Brookwood-Sago program:
- The Colorado School of Mines – the school in Golden will receive $240,024 in funding to provide quality training to mine rescue teams. With a focus on enhancing the knowledge and skills for mine rescue teams and incident command staff, training will improve technical rescue, communications and decision making during mine emergencies
- Rend Lake College – the college in Illinois will receive $134,240 in funding to improve training for mine rescue officials and mine rescue teams with a specific focus on mine fire brigade training and increased preparedness for those involved in mine emergencies
- Colorado Department of Natural Resources – the organisation will receive $217,877 to provide advanced mine rescue skills straining for all underground mines and mine emergency prevention in Colorado
- University of Arizona - $187,054 will go on improving self-escape skills during underground mine emergencies, through the use of virtual reality gaming
- Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy - $50,000 will go into developing training materials and training on mine emergency preparation and prevention
- West Virginia University - $171,805 will go towards the development and implementation of enhanced and realistic mine rescue training exercises that combine the efforts and abilities of a mine rescue team and fire brigade responding to a simulated coal mine fire emergency and locating missing personnel
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Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.