Tuke urges mining industry to heighten safety

Minister for Mining, Johnston Tuke, has challenge the mining industry to continue to pursue and seek higher standards and excellence in health and safety.

His speech, which was presented on his behalf by Goilala MP William Samb during the closure of the Extractive Industry National Emergency Response Challenge 2017, said maintaining a high standard of health and safety at project sites are an integral part of any successful operation.

He said a 12-month analysis by the MRA on the performance of the mining industry on health & safety showed that there is a downward trend on serious injuries and severity frequency rates.

Tuke said this was a very encouraging trend as it indicated that our mines are operating safer than they were twelve months ago, and the injuries are less severe than they were.

“Comparatively, PNG’s mining industry safety statistics is the envy of our neighbours within the region. This demonstrates that we can still operate in hazardous industries like ours with less potential for incidences.

“I take my hat off to you all in this room tonight as it is you who ensure that our industry is safe and secure.”

Tuke said the Mineral Resources Authority under his watch is committed to working with the industry to enhance and improve the safety of our workers.

“I hereby assure the industry that you have my support in this regard and with respect to other matters concerning the industry.

“The Mining Safety Act 1977 as you all know has been under review by the government for some time now, in consultation with the industry and relevant stakeholders.

“I believe that we can collectively come up with laws that can benefit both the government and industry. My Ministry under the leadership of the Department of Mineral Policy will be engaging with the industry on the amendments to the Safety Act after Government has passed the revised Mining Act,” he said.

Ramu NiCo, PNG’s only nickel-cobalt mine, were crowned champions of the 2017 PNG Extractive Industries Emergency Response Challenge (EIERC) which was held in Madang from Oct 2-4.

(The Ramu NiCo team with their spoils)

Cedric Patjole