Western Australia’s Barrick Kanowna Belle/KCGM Combined Mine Emergency Response Team has narrowly defeated five other teams from across the country to win the prestigious Annual Victorian Underground Mine Rescue Competition, proudly sponsored by Orica Mining Services.

In one of the closest results in the competition history, less than 3% separated the first five teams in the Overall Competition category. Second place went to Northgate Fosterville Gold Mine, with Newcrest Cadia Valley Operations in third place.

The participating teams competed in exercises in Bendigo last weekend (August 13-14) testing emergency response theory, rescue skills, first aid, breathing apparatus, fire fighting, search and rescue and rope rescue capabilities, and for the first time as part of the overall scoring, in the Spence Herd Team Performance Challenge. Exercises were adjudicated by industry and emergency response professionals in realistic potential emergency situations.

MCA Victorian Division Executive Director, Mr Chris Fraser said: “The Underground Mine Rescue Competition provides practical training experience to members of mining operations, encouraging them to apply teamwork to build skills that are vital to these specialised emergency rescue teams”.

“The competition is designed to improve the safety and health of all people involved in the mining industry and to provide realistic and practical training to the mine site rescue teams”.

“The competition fosters strong team spirit, competitiveness and goodwill among the rescue teams as seen with 200 people attending the presentations on Sunday night. I congratulate all team members for their spirit of competitive goodwill and their commitment to emergency response.”

“This competition is an important part of the MCA’s health and safety strategy. Our goal of zero fatalities and injuries remains the minerals industry’s number one value and commitment.”

In presenting the overall winner’s prize, Mr Richard Brown, representing the competition Major Sponsor – Orica Mining Services said “The emergency response volunteers should be very proud of their commitment to safety in the workplace and the leadership that they provide.”

“While we hope they never need to use the skills they practised over the weekend, we take comfort from the knowledge they are there to respond,” he said.

The teams that competed in the 19th Annual Victorian Underground Mine Rescue Competition were:

  • Cadia Valley Operations Emergency Response Team (Newcrest Mining)
  • Fosterville Gold Mine Emergency Response Team (Northgate Minerals)
  • Rosebery Emergency Response Team (MMG)
  • Henty Emergency Response Team (Unity Mining)
  • Stawell Gold Mines Emergency Response Team (Northgate Minerals)
  • Kanowna Belle/KCGM Combined Emergency Response Team (Barrick)

The Minerals Council of Australia congratulates all the competitors in this year’s competition and acknowledges the very strong support from the sponsors and volunteers from across the industry.

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