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Galvin to chair China taskforce

UNIVERSITY of New South Wales' professor Jim Galvin (School of Mining Engineering) will chair an industry taskforce on coal mine safety in China, formed to tackle safety in the country's accident stricken coal sector.

Staff Reporter
Galvin to chair China taskforce

The move follows on from the July announcement by the minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources Ian Macfarlane that Australia would pursue the formation of taskforce to aid China in tackling critical safety issues.

China is the world’s most dangerous mining country, accounting for 7000 fatalities annually in its coal mines. A further 2000 former miners are believed to die each year from pneumoconiosis.

The taskforce comprises senior industry personal from each of the major Australian coal producers as well as representatives from NSW and Queensland, federal government, industry associations and the International Labour Organisation.

A similar high-level taskforce is being established in China. Macfarlane said the taskforces would strengthen the co-operative dialogue between the two nations and provide a mechanism for the exchange of safety expertise.

Professor Galvin said about 70% of the fatalities in China occur in local village mines which are difficult to regulate and police. However, China also has some very modern underground coal mines which are of international standing and it has developed top coal caving technology for extracting thick coal seams.

“This technology is about to be trialed in NSW’s Newcastle coalfield, illustrating the benefits that can also flow to Australia from this collaborative initiative,” Galvin said.

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