June 06, 2011, 13:15 - 14:00
CEEA/ACEG 2011 CONFERENCE
Roy Slack, P.Eng.,
The San Jose Mine Rescue : An Overview of Plan A and the Rescue's Relevance to the North American Mining Industry
The 2010 Copiapó mining accident occurred on August 5, 2010 when part of the San José copper-gold mine in the Atacama Desert near Copiapó, Chile, collapsed, leaving 33 men trapped 700 meters below ground. The miners survived underground for a record 69 days. All 33 were rescued and brought to the surface on October 13, 2010. After the last trapped miner was winched to the surface, the rescue workers held up a sign stating "Misión cumplida Chile" (English: "Mission accomplished Chile") to the estimated 1 billion people watching the rescue on live television around the world.
The Cementation group and their Chilean partner Terraservice were involved in the mine rescue program at the San Jose mine in Chile. The Terraservice group was the first drilling contractor to break a hole through to confirm that the workers were alive. Terracem (a partnership company between Cementation and Terraservice) is a Chilean based raise boring contractor with shop facilities in Copaipo. The group mobilized a Strata 950 raise bore machine immediately to carry out the Plan A drilling program. This presentation gives a brief overview of that drilling program and the rescue in general. The lessons learned from the rescue are relevant to the mining industry and will be reviewed as well.
In late 1998 Roy started Cementation's operations in Canada as President. Cementation is an underground hardrock mine contracting and engineering firm that builds new mines and expands existing mines for mine Owners. Today he is responsible Cementation's operations in North and South America which include companies in the USA and in South America. The company was recently recognized in McLean's magazine as one of the top 100 employers in Canada. Mr. Slack has been actively involved in the CIM as both a National Member and as the past Chair of the Northern Gateway branch. He is a member of the CIM Safety advisory committee as well as a number of other safety groups. In 2008 he was awarded the Engineer's Medal for Entrepreneurship by the Professional Engineers of Ontario. He is presently an advisory board member for Workplace Safety North. In 2009 he was awarded the Metal Mining Society Award by the Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM).