altThe annual MineSAFE Conference – now in its fifth consecutive year - was once again a major success, drawing more than 400 delegates over the two-day Technical Conference and over 780 guests for the Industry Awards Day.

Held from 22 to 24 October 2013 at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg, this year's conference focused primarily on the industry's progress towards the 2013 Milestones as agreed to at the 2003 Mine Health and Safety Summit.

One of the features that make the MineSAFE Conference so unique is the breadth of its scope. With its main aim being the advancement of Zero Harm in the South African mining industry, the Conference does not only focus on safety related issues, but has expanded to include aspects related to health and the environment.

In addition, the Conference focuses on both technical solutions to engineer out health and safety risks, as well as behavioural and cultural solutions.

A mark of the tremendous strides the Conference has made in a few short years is the attendance of CEOs and Executive Level Management from companies such as Implats, Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Lonmin. In addition, members from across the industry – from mining to engineering; from support services to processing – attended the three-day conference, proving that Zero Harm is not limited to mining, but affects and involves all parties. This was echoed by Mr Marek Dworzanowksy, President of the SAIMM. "This is why safety features prominently in all SAIMM events, activities and network efforts", said Mr Dworzanowsky during the Industry Day Awards opening ceremony.

The importance of working together towards Zero Harm was further emphasised by Organised Labour, as well as Government. Speaking on behalf of the DMR, Mr David Msiza, Chief Inspector of Mines, said: "We have made great strides towards a safer and healthier working environment because of our tripartite approach to solutions. It is critical that we continue with this collaboration since we all have the same objective – Zero Harm".

Eric Chama from the NUM, represented Organised Labour and highlighted several issues that needs to be addressed if we are to move to Zero Harm. He made particular reference to the safety and health of women in mining, as well as the socio-economic conditions of employees and communities. "These socio-economic conditions impact on the health and safety of our employees and should form part of any Zero Harm initiative", said Mr Chama.

Nelson Ndlala, President of AMMSA, reminded all present that while we need to celebrate our successes, it is important to remember that our work is far from done. "As long as we still mourn the loss of team members, we cannot rest", said Mr Ndlala.

As part of the Industry Awards Day, CEO of Anglo American, Mark Cutifani, was invited to share with delegates the work currently being done with regard to the CEO Task Team to eliminate fatalities. "Leadership must be visibly committed to safety", remarked Mr Cutifani. "Our words and our behavior should correspond. The Task Team has already shown some positive results with Fall of Ground fatalities having been reduced by 50% in 2012. In addition, the Task Team has also agreed on leading practices that could be employed to construct a bonus system aimed at zero harm production.

Recognition of the strides the industry has made in reducing injuries and incidents, various MineSAFE Awards were handed out during the Industry Day.

This year conference organisers handed the Most Improved Sub-sector Award to a Mining Industry, instead of only to one company. The Coal Industry walked away with the accolades, particularly for reaching all of its 2013 milestones. Mr Wilco Uys presented some of the initiatives that the Coal Industry has implemented to help achieve the 2013 milestones it set itself.

Lonmin's 1B/4B Mine scooped the MSA sponsored JT Ryan Award, an international award given to a company that has made a significant contribution to the health and safety of its workers. This is the second consecutive year that the team has been awarded with this prestigious award.

The MineSAFE Awards are awarded based on the most improved Total Injury Frequency Rate during the year and were handed out as follows:

7th in Class Sibanye Gold, Masithembe
6th in Class AngloGold Ashanti, Moab Khotsong
5th in Class Harmony Gold, Joel
4th in Class Harmony Gold, Kusasalethu
3rd in Class Sibanye Gold, Pitseng
2nd in Class Harmony Gold, Tshepong
Best in Class Sibanye Gold, Thuthukani

7th in Class Lonmin Platinum, Rowland Shaft
6th in Class Lonmin Platinum, East 2 / East 3 Shaft
5th in Class Glencore, Mototolo Borwa
4th in Class Impala Platinum, 14 Bottom Shaft
3rd in Class Lonmin Platinum, Hossy Shaft
2nd in Class Lonmin Platinum, East 1 Shaft
Best in Class Anglo American, Khomanani Mine

2nd in Class De Beers,Venetia Mine
Best in Class Petra Mine, Finsch Mine

4th in Class ARM,Nkomati Mine
3rd in Class Glencore, Waterval Chrome Mine
2nd in Class International Ferro Metals, Lesedi Mine
Best in Class Glencore, Kroondal Mine

7th in Class Shanduka Coal, Klippan Colliery
6th in Class Kangra Coal
5th in Class Shanduka Coal, Middleburg Townlands
4th in Class Anglo American, Landau Colliery
3rd in Class Anglo American, Zibulo
2nd in Class Msobo Coal, Tselentis
Best in Class Exxaro,Inyanda Coal

4th in Class Lonmin Opencast
3rd in Class Tharisa Minerals
2nd in Class Batlhako Mining,Ruighoek Chrome Mine
Best in Class Glencore, Rietvly Silica Mine

3rd in Class Murray & Roberts, Wessels
2nd in Class Murray & Roberts, Khutala
Best in Class Platinum, EBJ Mining

The annual MineSAFE Conference' main aim is to actively contribute to the achievement of zero harm in the South African mining industry by sharing best practices and encouraging the adoption of these practices across the industry. In his opening address, MineSAFE Chairperson Tom van den Berg, summed up the importance of conferences such as these: "The goal of Zero Harm is simply about saving lives and ensuring that no family ever has to grieve for their loved ones because of something that happened on our watch. We all have a responsibility and we all have a part to play".

The MineSAFE Conference is jointly organised by the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM), the Association of Mine Managers of South Africa (AMMSA) and the South African Colliery Managers Association (SACMA), with valuable input from the Department of Mineral Resources, Chamber of Mines, The Mine Health and Safety Council, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and UASA The Union

In a drive to achieve the 2013 milestone of 'zero harm' in the South African mining industry, the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) and the Association of Mine Managers of South Africa (AMMSA) hosted the first Hardrock Safe Safety Conference in September 2009.

The main aim of the conference was to share leading industry practices with regard to safety and health and to encourage other operations to adopt these practices. The first conference was aimed primarily at the hard rock mining industry and attracted 335 professionals from all sectors of the industry, including mining, training, engineering, metallurgy, rock engineering, geology, ventilation and safety.

Given the positive response from across the industry and the importance of the subject matter for the conference, the second annual Hard Rock Safe Conference was held in August 2010. This conference was unique in that it adopted a tripartite approach in planning and organising the event. The organising committee included representatives from industry, employee representative organisations and Government, who worked together to identify the key focus areas for the conference. This tripartite alliance has remained as a key success factor for the Conference today.

In 2011, the conference was extended to include the coal industry and was subsequently re-branded as the MineSAFE Conference. This year will be the fifth annual event and attendance at and sponsorship of the event has continued to grow. A record 1000 delegates attended the Industry Award Day in 2013.

Over 200 mines are represented at the conference, as well as various employee representative organisations and Government departments.

For more information or enquiries contact:
Raymond van der Berg
Head of Conferencing
Tel: 011 834 1273