Mines Rescue Services has unveiled its latest Rescue Drill Rig at a function at the Goedehoop Colliery near Witbank.
The high-profile event was attended by David Mzisa, chief inspector of mines from the Department of Mineral Resources, Wilco Uys, chairman of the Collieries Committee, Alwyn Pretorius, chairman of Mine Rescue Services and Christo de Klerk, general manager of Mine Rescue Services.
“Our mine health and safety performance remains of great concern and needs to continuously improve,” said Mzisa in his opening address.
Uys said the latest Rescue Drill Unit was the third generation of the Mines Rescue Services initiative. It represented a R140 million investment in state-of-the-art equipment.
This included a Schramm T130XD rescue hole drill, a Schramm T685WS probe hole drill, a floxal nitrogen plant, a CIS compressor trailer, a Cummins generator, a mobile rescue winder and a gas chromatograph and borehole trailer.
“Whenever we deploy a rescue drill, many lives are at stake. Rescue drills do not get used to save single individuals. It goes about multiple individuals and teams that need to be saved,” said Uys.
“Our focus as the coal-mining industry is not to use the equipment you see here. Our commitment is to ensure our operations are harm-free and safe. The equipment you see here will be our last safety net.”
Uys said the equipment being replaced had been deployed successfully on two previous occasions to free trapped miners.