Mutual aid agreement signed between Victorian gold mines

Four Victorian gold mines signed a Mine Rescue Mutual Aid Agreement during the Annual Victorian Underground Mine Rescue Competition held in Bendigo last weekend. The mines reaching agreement were Northgate Mineral’s Fosterville and Stawell, Lihir Gold’s Ballarat and Bendigo Mining’s Bendigo mine. The Agreement signifies a firm commitment by each of the four mines to provide other mine sites with assistance, should they require it, in the event of an emergency. The assistance may come in the form of mine rescue personnel or equipment required to support response efforts.

The Agreement provides a framework under which mutual aid would be provided, and includes important administrative aspects such as insurance cover, release of personnel and cost recovery. Having such an agreement in place significantly strengthens each mine’s emergency response capability, and ensures that potentially problematic administrative matters associated with providing mutual aid do not unnecessarily complicate response efforts. Mutual Aid Agreements are present in some Western Australian regions, however this is the first compact in Victoria.

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) ha congratulated the four mines for reaching this landmark agreement “which will ensure that in the event of an emergency, emergency response personnel from a number of mines in the region are able to assist with any rescue. Partnerships of this type are crucial and we encourage other mining regions across Australia to also consider establishing mine rescue mutual aid agreements.”

For advice on how to establish an agreement please contact Megan Davison, Assistant Director, Minerals Council of Australia – mobile: 0421 053 010, email: [email protected]