2016 level 1 mine emergency exercise (metalliferous mines)

A level 1 mine emergency exercise for metalliferous mines was conducted at George Fisher mine, about 20km north of Mount Isa in north-west Queensland on 30 August 2016. This page provides a summary of the exercise and its recommendations. For more information, download the full 2016 level 1 mine emergency exercise report.

Emergency scenario

The scenario for the exercise was based upon a fire on a loader located on the decline just above 18 level SLAC on the decline at the L72, at the north end of the mine. The site and the decline up to 15 level breakthrough was barricaded with 'No travelling unless authorised signs' to simulate a loader blocking the path. The driver was 'injured' trying to fight the fire and made his way up to the nearest ERB at 17 level HG to raise the alarm.

An assessor was always with the driver who was provided a script to inform mine control of the situation. Ventilation modelling of a vehicle fire at this location showed that areas of the mine would quickly become contaminated with smoke and carbon monoxide. The pollutants would slowly travel up the decline with the ventilation current.

All assessors were provided with briefing notes to brief the mine personnel before the activation of the exercise.

Key recommendations for industry

The key recommendations are shown below. For more detail on these and other recommendations, read the full 2016 pilot level 1 mine emergency exercise report.

  • Review the effectiveness of Self Contained Self Rescuer training and assessment for workers.
  • Ensure a robust change management process is followed when modifying or retro-fitting safety critical life support equipment.
  • Provide all site personnel, who as part of their roles would be expected to be an Emergency Management Team (EMT) member, with industry standard emergency management/critical incident training.
  • Ensure contingency planning for the situation where some EMT process critical personnel are not onsite or available at the time of the emergency.
  • Standardised training for Emergency Response Team members in metal mines and quarries taking into account the site specific reasonably foreseeable emergency scenarios.
  • Fire simulation modelling software is now available. Modelling should be carried out on credible fire situations within the underground mine ventilation circuits.