Members put their life saving skills to the test during a weekend of challenges at the 2019 Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) Surface Mine Emergency Response Competition, held over 25 and 26 May at Hannans North Tourist Mine.

Teams from KCGM, Gold Fields (Combined), St Barbara Limited (Leonora), Evolution Mining (Mungari), Northern Star Resources, Saracen Mineral Holdings (Carosue Dam) and BHP (Northern Operations) competed in a series of realistic emergency response scenarios including: Theory, Incident Management, First Aid, Fire Fighting, Confined Space Rescue, Team Skills, Vehicle Extrication, HazChem and Rope Rescue.

Gold Fields’ St Ives previous title of ‘Best Team’ was won by Saracen Carosue Dam. ER Coordinator Carosue Dam and CME Mine Rescue Chairman, Chad Prince, was ecstatic at their win.

“For an absolutely new team, this is a fantastic result for them and for Saracen,” he said.

“These events are like no other. It’s a real opportunity for learning and camaraderie. We love being able to provide these competitions for our Emergency Response Community,” added Mr Prince.

Graduate Mining Engineer Jonathon Flynn was Saracen Carosue Dam’s first time Captain, and took out both the ‘Best New Captain’ and ‘Best Captain’s’ Awards. Humbled by these honours Jonathon praised his team and trainers for all their hard work, saying he couldn’t have won the two awards without them.

CME Goldfields Manager Rowena Olsen said, “CME are committed to supporting and providing these competitions, to showcase practical responses to high risk activities in the industry. It’s also a terrific learning opportunity for all those connected to emergency response.”

Gold Fields St Ives and Saracen Carosue Dam co-sponsored the Awards Presentation, where 2019 Australia of the Year Craig Challen SC AM, delivered the keynote address during which he drew parallels between cave diving and mine emergency response. Mr Challen reinforced the need to train and have these skills ready, should they ever be needed.

“With Craig Challen as the key note speaker at the awards ceremony on Sunday night, this competition will be remembered for years to come,” said Ms Olsen.

While speaking about the critical importance of emergency response training, Mr Challen shared his Thai cave dive rescue story, where he and his dive partner Richard Harris rescued a soccer team and their coach from a flooded cave. Dr Challen said the realism of the emergency response scenarios from the weekend’s surface mine competition exceeded his expectations, and made special mention of the Vehicle Extrication scenario, which won the ‘Best Scenario’ award.

CME thanks the local community, volunteers and sponsors for their ongoing commitment to Goldfields Mine Emergency Response Competitions.

Congratulations to all teams on their scenario wins:

  • Confined Space Rescue: St Barbara Leonora

  • Rope Rescue: KCGM

  • First Aid: KCGM

  • Fire Fighting: KCGM

  • Vehicle Extrication: Gold Fields Combined

  • HazChem: St Barbara Leonora

  • Theory: Goldfields Combined

  • Team Skills: Saracen Carosue Dam

  • Overall First Aid: KCGM

  • Best Scenario Competing Team Vote: Vehicle Extrication

  • Overall Breathing Apparatus Skills: Northern Star Kalgoorlie Operations

  • Team Safety: Saracen Carosue Dam

  • Best New team: Saracen Carosue Dam

  • Incident Management: Saracen Carosue Dam

  • Theory Individual: Wayne De Bono – St Barbara Leonora

  • Best New Captain: Jonathon Flynn – Saracen Carosue Dam

  • Best Captain: Jonathon Flynn – Saracen Carosue Dam

  • Best Team Third Place: St Barbara Leonora

  • Best Team Second Place: KCGM

  • Best Team First Place: Saracen Carosue Dam