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Four teams competing at provincial mine rescue competition in Snow Lake this month

Hudbay, Vale and the Tantalum Mining Corporation will field teams and the fourth will consist of a mix of mine rescue personnel from the three mining operations.
Manitoba mine rescue teams will test their skills against each other in the 60th-annual provincial mine rescue competition at Snow Lake’s Chisel North Mine May 26-27.

Hudbay Minerals is hosting the 60th-annual Manitoba Provincial Mine Rescue Competition at the Chisel North Mine in Snow Lake May 26-27.

In addition to the host team, the other competitors include a team from Vale Manitoba Operations in Thompson and one from Tantalum Mining Corporation of Canada in Bernic Lake, as well as a Manitoba Mutual Aid Team, led by a host-mine captain and director of operations with four members from the other participating mine operations.

This is the first time that a mutual aid team has been part of the competition.

“The concept of ‘Mutual Aid’ is fundamental to a safety-focused mine rescue culture,” said Stacy Kennedy, co-chair of the Mining Association of Manitoba’s mine rescue committee and the head of Vale’s operations in Thompson. “We’re excited to see how this new element contributes to the spirit of competition and lessons learned by all our participants.”

The mine rescue competition consists of written exams, first aid challenges and a firefighting test, followed by a simulated rescue mission conducted by presiding judges Neil Spencer of Sling-Choker Mfg. (Thompson) Ltd. and Jamie Mortson of Alex MacIntyre & Associates Ltd., who are both highly experienced certified independent Manitoba mine rescue instructors.

The mine rescue competition is intended to help members of participating mines’ rescue teams sharpen their lifesaving skills.

“More than an important industry competition, this annual event is an opportunity to inform our communities and Manitobans about our mining operations’ reliance upon effective mine rescue teams,” said Kennedy. “Mining operations cannot and do not operate without the presence of experienced and well-trained mine rescue workers on site at all times.”

This year’s edition is special because it is the 60th anniversary of the competition, said the mining association’s mine rescue committee co-chair Richard Trudeau.

“Our participants are equally as excited to contribute to our province’s deep mine rescue legacy as they are to compete!” he said.

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