Chilean mine rescue builds global support for refuge chambers

REFUGE chamber specialist MineArc is poised to take advantage of an international boom in demand following the highly acclaimed rescue of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for more than two months.
Chilean mine rescue builds global support for refuge chambers Chilean mine rescue builds global support for refuge chambers Chilean mine rescue builds global support for refuge chambers Chilean mine rescue builds global support for refuge chambers Chilean mine rescue builds global support for refuge chambers

MineArc is ready to do business in China.

Blair Price

MineArc said the country mandated the provision of refuge chambers for its underground mines, but compliance was an issue.

“Fortunately at San Jose they were in place – as has been widely reported, it’s highly unlikely all 33 men would have survived without the vital shelter and supplies the chamber provided during those crucial first 19 days before contact with the surface was made,” the company said.

While Chilean President Sebastian Pinera vows to overhaul mine safety, underground mines in neighbouring Peru must have refuge chambers from the start of 2011.

MineArc also noted the comments from China’s State Administration of Workplace Safety head Luo Lin after 37 miners died from a gas outburst at a Henan province colliery during the televised Chilean mine drama.

“When the entire world was watching and discussing the Chilean mine disaster, some people wonder why China has no refuge chambers,” Lin said at a news conference.

He later announced China will speed up the provision of underground emergency shelters and refuge chambers, along with communications, monitoring and control systems.

Tanzanian mining union secretary general Hassan Ameir aims to lobby his government for safety reforms.

He said he would not expect any survivors if a similar mine disaster occurred in Tanzania.

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