Mental health: MCA develops blueprint to address issues in Australian mining sector
<p>The <a href="http://www.miningglobal.com/article/tags/718/Mineral-Council-of-Austral… Council of Australia</a> (MCA) has launched a new <a href="http://www.minerals.org.au/file_upload/files/publications/MCA_Mental_He… to address mental health</a> in the mining industry, developing the framework to promote wellbeing while reducing the risks and impacts of mental illness.</p>
<p>“The blueprint for mental health in the mining industry provides a broad-based framework for best practice models of health and safety for the sector,” said MCA CEO Brendan Pearson.“This blueprint spells out goals and strategies for the promotion of health, prevention of mental health problems and response to those in need. It also describes programs for supporting return to work, underpinned by an emphasis on robust evaluation.”</p>
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<p>The blueprint reveals the ongoing challenge to support workers in remote environments and their families, highlighting it as a key priority.</p>
<p>“Mental illness can affect workplace productivity through absenteeism and 'presenteeism' and if problems are left unaddressed, it can also have an effect on the prevalence of accidental injury in the workplace,” Pearson said.</p>
<p>“Despite the growing awareness of the importance of mental health, there is still much to do. The development and launch of the blueprint is an important step forward. It builds on research that has concluded that a broad multifaceted approach within an industry framework is most likely to deliver long-term results and bring best return on investment, both cost benefit and broader social benefit.”</p>
<p>Unveiled last week at the CEO Health and Safety Forum in Melbourne, Australia, the blueprint draws off previous work initiated by the <a href="http://www.miningglobal.com/operations/1270/3-Reasons-the-NSW-Minerals-… Minerals Council</a>, including collaboration with the University of Newcastle’s Institute for Energy and Resources, Center for Resources Health and Safety and the Hunter Institute of Mental Health.</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.miningglobal.com/article/tags/222/Australia">Australia&rsquo… mining sector</a> isn’t alone. More than 50 million Americans suffer from mental illness or mental disorders. </p>
<p><img alt="" src="http://s8.postimg.org/xujur441h/info_mental_illness_1.jpg" style="height:2869px; width:750px" /></p>
<p>The <a href="http://www.cmewa.com/">Western Australian Chamber of Minerals and Energy</a> (CEME) also released its own blueprint on mental health.<br />
“Mental illness is a significant issue within the community and there is growing appreciation for how mental health issues may manifest in the workplace,” said CME deputy CEO Nicole Roocke. “CME recognizes there is an important role for all workplaces to play in promoting wellbeing and addressing the risks and impact of mental illness.”</p>
<p>Addressing mental health and wellbeing in the mining sector is the first step, cultivating and supporting a workplace aligned with these goals is the next. </p>
<p><a href="//www.minerals.org.au/file_upload/files/publications/MCA_Mental_Health_Bl… alt="" src="http://s3.postimg.org/gs3e04zgj/mental_health.png" style="height:480px; width:355px" /></a></p>
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Unmanned train to allow Vale to reopen iron ore plant
Brazilian miner Vale SA will be able to resume operations at its Timbopeba iron ore dry processing plant in up to two months thanks to the use of an unmanned train, the company said in a statement this week.
Vale - Timbopeba iro ore plant
With the train, Timbopeba will be able to operate at least at 80% of its capacity of 33,000 tonnes of iron ore “fines” per day, reports Reuters.
Vale was forced to shut down the plant in the Alegria mine complex recently after labor authorities in Minas Gerais state banned activities close to the Xingu dam due to concerns of a risk of collapse.
Vale said access by workers and vehicles continues to be suspended in the flood zone of the dam due to the ban even though it remains at emergency level 2, which means there no imminent risk of rupture.
But some workers are allowed entry under strict security precautions and they will get the unmanned train going once it has been tested, which would take between one and two months, the company said.
The unmanned train will travel automatically along 16 kilometers (10 miles) of track operated by a system that can control the speed and activate the brakes, Vale said.
Vale announces first ore at Voisey’s Bay mine extension
Vale has reached the milestone of first ore production at the Reid Brook deposit at the Voisey’s Bay mine expansion project in Northern Labrador, Canada - recognised as the safest mine in Canada.