Shairzal signed the MoU with the company’s United States head office for the marketing, manufacture and distribution of mine refuge chambers and associated equipment.
Shairzal said the move was prompted by the recent spate of mine accidents in the US and discussions with key people from the Mine Safety & Health Administration and the US mining industry.
Shairzal decided to develop a purpose-built, long-duration, fresh air base that is 100% stand-alone, and said this had attracted a lot of attention within the mining industry.
The company is currently building prototype show units, which will be displayed to the US mining industry in the next few months. Managing director Tony Farrugia is heading to the US to finalise the deal and set up the local manufacture of the units.
A company representative will be at the upcoming workshop on April 18, organised by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, being held in Washington, DC, on mine escape planning and emergency shelters.
Topics for discussion at the workshop include a recent history of mine escapes and the use of emergency shelters; warning systems and the use of self-rescue devices and lifelines; how mine design has changed since the 1980s; shelter placement in the mine; life support instrumentation; and communication and training.