Toronto: Virtually the youngest significant mine on the block – at three months into commercial production – Gahcho Kué hit the jackpot at the annual NWT/Nunavut Mine Rescue Competition in Yellowknife held on June 9-10, 2017, De Beers Canada announced.
The mine won in four categories and also bagged the top award of the best Overall Surface Mine Rescue team. This added up to five awards totally -- the highest number of trophies won by any mining operation in the competition.
“The seven-person competition team, featuring both males and females, was representing more than 40 other colleagues who also volunteer as Emergency Responders at the remote mine in the Northwest Territories,” De Beers Canada said in a press release.
For the first time too, De Beers’ Victor Mine participated in the competition and won the award in the Surface Obstacle category. “The Victor Mine, located in northern Ontario and recently honoured with its second straight John T. Ryan National Safety Award, was invited to participate in the competition by the organisers because there is no Surface Mine Rescue Competition in Ontario,” the Company explained.
De Beers Canada Chief Executive Kim Truter opining that both teams have a lot to be proud of said: “To win six of the eight categories we were eligible for is an outstanding achievement and really demonstrates that our commitment to safety at De Beers goes beyond just words. Our Victor Mine’s safety performance has been the best in the country for the last two years and this reinforces their reputation as a world-class operation. For Gahcho Kué to win so many categories so early into their mine life is a tremendous indication that the team is definitely building their own best-in-class safety culture. Our teams also had the most female representation in the competition – which reflects well on our focus on gender diversity and inclusion as a group.”
Gahcho Kué Mine General Manager Allan Rodel commented: “The Gahcho Kué team has worked extremely hard to prepare for this competition, with many long hours on their own time to enhance their training and knowledge. There are so many achievements to celebrate as a result of this competition, but perhaps most satisfying for me is how quickly our team has pulled together in less than a year to work as one cohesive professional unit, giving our entire workforce confidence that our mine can provide a safe and secure environment for all those who spend much of their time away from home.”
Last year even though Gahcho Kué was still in the final stages of construction and commissioning, the mine rescue team had won in two categories at the competition.
Victor Mine General Manager James Kirby said: “Our team from Victor Mine was rewarded for the great hard work they put into preparing for this competition and the overall event was awesome.”
“With this year’s title as Overall Surface Mine winners, the Gahcho Kué team now qualifies for the National Western Region Mine Rescue Competition in Fernie, B.C. on September 8-9, 2017,” the Company said in conclusion.