14th November 2019

We recently hosted the annual Conference of Chief Inspectors of Mines (CCIM) and the Australasian Mining Competency Advisory Committee (AMCAC).

Representing various mines inspectorates of Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea, the CCIM provides high-level technical advice to governments and champion safety and health outcomes for the Australasian mining industry. The AMCAC exists to promote nationally consistent competencies and standards of assessment for mine safety statutory positions to facilitate the mobility of workers across jurisdictions, a topic that found common ground in discussions at the 2019 CCIM forum.

Conference of Chief Inspectors of Mines

The 61st Annual Conference of Chief Inspectors of Mines was held in Sydney from 29 – 30 October 2019. During the two-day conference, attendees discussed operational updates and jurisdictional issues occurring in their state or country over the past twelve months.

The inspectors reviewed and analysed major activities, incidents, and technology from each jurisdiction, providing insight into investigation procedures and better ways to interact with industry.  It was a unique opportunity to discuss the various systems and processes used and identify similarities and areas that can be improved.

There was a significant focus on health and working conditions surrounding exposure to dust and silica. All jurisdictions are increasing the focus on these issues and an awareness of the health implications for workers.

The New Zealand representatives provided an update on Pike River and the strategic approach. The 2018 CCIM attendees visited the site and consulted with the recovery team. The 2019 update discussed the significant changes in the recovery project over the last 12 months.

As the peak body for mining regulators, the 2019 CCIM proved to be an effective forum to exchange information, share experiences and lessons learned, as well as develop consistency in the spirit of harmonisation between the jurisdictions.

The Australasian Mining Competency Advisory Council meeting

The Australasian Mining Competency Advisory Council meeting was held on the 31st October 2019 in Sydney. Representatives from New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea were in attendance. The representatives discussed statutory positions, maintenance of competence, changes to procedures and training packages in each jurisdiction. Mutual recognition was a topic of interest and the minimum standards between jurisdictions. The council is working towards promoting a consistent message to industry regarding experience requirements, for the best mobility of workers between jurisdictions.

The council works together to develop consistent competencies and standards of assessment for mine safety statutory positions, and the meeting is recognised as a useful tool of cooperation across jurisdictions. The meeting provides an opportunity to discuss legislation changes, training programs, and examination processes.