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International safety conference comes to Sudbury

February 25, 2015
by Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal
In: News
Vic Pakalnis, chair of the conference organizing committee and president of MIRARCO-Mining Innovation.

Vic Pakalnis, chair of the conference organizing committee and president of MIRARCO-Mining Innovation.

The 36th International Conference of Safety in Mines Research Institutes will be held in Sudbury October 25 to 27, 2015. Hosted by MIRARCO-Mining Innovation and the Canadian Institute for Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), the prestigious conference is expected to attract approximately 300 delegates from Europe, Australia, South Africa and across North America.

The Conference has been meeting every two years since 1931 with the exception of the period during and immediately following World War Two. Previous conferences have been held throughout Europe, in the U.S., China, India, Japan and Australia, but the 2015 conference will be a first for Canada.

“It’s a real honour for Sudbury to host the first International Conference of Safety in Mines Research in Canada,” said Vic Pakalnis, chair of the organizing committee and president of MIRARCO-Mining Innovation. “Sudbury is an important centre of mining safety expertise and Canada is an important mining jurisdiction.”

The conference will attract several distinguished mining people, including Anglo-American plc Chief

Executive Officer Mark Cutifani, who served in Sudbury as chief operating officer for CVRD Inco from 2003 to 2007. Cutifani will serve as honourary chair of the conference and will represent industry on a panel discussion at the conference.

Also attending the conference is Leo Gerard, International President, United Steelworkers. Born and raised in Sudbury, Gerard joined Inco after graduating from high school. He was elected director of United Steelworkers District 6 in 1985 and international president in 2001.

“We’re also hoping to have Joe Main, assistant secretary of labour for mine safety and health, and head of the United States Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA),” said Pakalnis.

Delegates attending the conference will include academics conducting research on mine safety, industry and union representatives, as well as government officials responsible for mining safety compliance.

“The location of the conference in Sudbury is a great opportunity for mining people in Canada and particularly Northern Ontario to learn about the latest research and best practices from leading researchers and mining industry leaders from around the world,” said Pakalnis.

Subjects sure to be discussed are safety management systems, diesel emissions, mine rescue, technology and the management of change, regulatory approaches to mining safety and contractor safety.

A call for papers is expected to attract 500 to 600 submissions. Session chairs will go through the abstracts and select approximately 100 papers for presentation at the conference.

There will also be a small trade show with a maximum of 15 booths. A welcome reception will be held on October 25 in the cavern at Science North while the Holiday Inn will serve as the venue for the presentations and trade show.

Arrangements will also be made for tours of selected mines and other facilities in the Sudbury area prior to and following the conference.

The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) will be responsible for conference logistics and is in the process of soliciting sponsorships for the event.

To date, sponsors include Barrick Gold and the Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation.

Additional information about the conference can be found online at: http://icsmri.cim.org/

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