Miners gear up for Canadian mine rescue competition
Prairieland Park in Saskatoon will be full of miners this week as they take part in the 48th annual Emergency Response/Mine Rescue Skills Competition 2016 on June 4.
The competition, run by the Saskatchewan Mining Association, will put the miners through their paces, testing their ability to respond to emergency situations within the industry and act quickly to effectively and safely to resolve the situation.
Miners will be tested in six events, Surface Field Event, Proficiency, First Aid, Fire Fighting, Practical Skills, culminating in a Mock Mine event.
The miners will take part in teams and be against the clock as they face a series of possibilities for each event. The surface field event for example, could test them on:
- Gas detection
- Hazardous materials involvement
- Confined spaces
- High angle rescue
- First aid skills
- Fire extinguishment
- Victim entrapment
- Breathing apparatus use
All teams will be judged by an event coordinator appointed by the Emergency Response Sub Committee. The coordinators will prepare the various problems and scenarios for the teams to face and will also select individual judges for each section of the competition to score each team.
Once all teams have been scored through a merit system, the winners will be announced based on their total merits over the whole competition.
Should there be a draw situation, the winners will be the team with the highest merits in the individual field problems in a tie breaker.
The competition will be the culmination of the Saskatchewan Mining Week 2016 programme, a week of talks designed to highlight the mining industry and the benefits to the economy.
Read the May 2016 issue of Mining Global magazine
Gerald Group resolves iron ore dispute with Sierra Leone
Gerald Group, the US commodity trader, will pay Sierra Leone $20mn and cede a 10% stake in an iron ore project as part of the resolution to a nearly two-year dispute that led to the shutdown of production, the two sides revealed.
Gerald's wholly-owned subsidiary SL Mining filed for arbitration in August 2019 over a royalty payment dispute and suspended the Marampa mine the following month. Sierra Leone's government responded by cancelling its mining licence.
As part of the agreement signed on Friday, Sierra Leone will take a non-dilutable 10% stake in a new company that will replace SL Mining and resume operations at Marampa by June 1, Gerald said in a statement.
Gerald will make two $10mn payments this year and will have the immediate right to ship its current stockpile of about 707,000 tonnes of iron ore, it said.
Both sides will withdraw their legal claims before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the statement added.
Gerald’s chairman and CEO Craig Dean commented: "I am delighted that we have been able to resolve our differences and have a fresh start and new beginning with the government of Sierra Leone."
Sierra Leone's Mines Minister Timothy Kabba told a news conference on Tuesday that the agreement was a milestone for the country.
"Whatever the pain we may have borne or dreaded throughout these two years ... this outcome justifies our action," he said.
Gerald estimates that Marampa holds about 1 billion tonnes of iron ore with a potential lifespan of 30 years.
Back in 2019, Dean spoke with Mining about the development of Marampa and commented: "SL Mining offers a substantial opportunity for Gerald Group as our Marampa mine in Sierra Leone is set to deliver six million tonnes of high-grade iron ore during its operational life. If you analyse the iron ore market it has transformed, even from a couple of years ago when prices were very low. Now prices have stabilised we’re in a favourable position with our first shipments leaving for China.
"Our goal is to make ‘Marampa Blue’ an internationally recognised premium grade iron ore brand. We intend to expand the delivery of high-grade 65% iron ore concentrate to markets in Europe and Africa.”