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    Chad gold mine collapse leaves about 30 people dead

    September 27, 2019

    About 30 people have died in a collapse at an illegal gold mine in Chad near the Libyan border.

    More victims might still be trapped in the debris, Defence Minister Mahamat Abali Sala told Reuters.

    The mine is located in the Tibesti region, where the discovery of gold nearly a decade ago led to a surge in illegal mining. The illicit industry has attracted Sudanese refugees looking to make enough money to get to Europe.

    A landslide caused the collapse, though accidents are common in the illegal mines due to a lack of oversight and unsafe practices.

    The accident occurred in Kouri Bougoudi in the Tibesti Province, which is largely lawless with little government presence.

    (Source : BBC)

    Link : https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-49839574

    Study: Mining, oil and gas workers at risk of hearing loss

    September 9, 2019

    September 06, 2019

    Study: Mining, oil and gas workers at risk of hearing loss

    Hearing loss is prevalent in workers in the mining and oil and gas extraction sectors, researchers have found. At least 25 percent of workers in many industries and as much as 30 percent of workers in others had hearing loss, according to a recently published report.

    Approximately 61 percent of all workers in mining and oil and gas extraction have been exposed to hazardous noise levels on the job. Certain chemical exposures in the industries also pose hearing loss risks.

    “Prevalence of hearing loss among noise-exposed workers within the Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction sectors, 2006-2015” appears in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

    New, specific findings

    In the mining sector, 24 percent of all noise-exposed workers had hearing loss. Workers in the construction sand and gravel mining industry had the highest prevalence of hearing loss at 36 percent, followed by:

    • 31 percent of noise-exposed workers in uranium-radium-vanadium ore mining;
    • 28 percent in bituminous coal and lignite surface mining;
    • 27 percent in iron ore mining; and
    • 24 percent in copper ore and nickel ore mining.

    Noise-exposed workers in coal mining support activities had double the risk of hearing loss compared with couriers and messengers, a low-prevalence comparison industry. Noise-exposed workers in gold ore mining had a 71 percent higher risk of hearing loss than couriers and messengers.

    In the oil and gas extraction industry sector, researchers found that:

    • Overall, 14 percent of noise-exposed workers in the sector had hearing loss.
    • Within natural gas liquid extraction, 28 percent of noise-exposed workers had hearing loss and a 76 percent higher risk of hearing loss than couriers and messengers.

    However, no data were available for two of the largest industries—crude petroleum and natural gas extraction and drilling oil and gas wells, indicating a need for more worker surveillance.

    The study is the first to examine hearing loss prevalence and risk by industry within the mining and oil and gas extraction sectors. Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) Taft Laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio, conducted the latest study.

    Preventing occupational hearing loss

    Noise exposures not only can cause hearing loss, according to NIOSH, but also are associated with elevated cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. NIOSH’s recommended exposure limit for occupational noise exposure is 85 decibels. Noise levels are measured as an 8-hour, time-weighted average.

    Steps employers can take to prevent occupational hearing loss include:

    • Removing or reducing noise at the source,
    • Implementing an effective hearing conservation program when noise cannot be reduced to safe levels,
    • Using engineering controls to reduce equipment noise,
    • Rotating workers out of loud areas and from noisy tasks to decrease their exposure time, and
    • Identifying and eliminating any barriers to the use of hearing protection devices.

    Personal protective equipment for hearing protection includes ear canal caps;
    expandable foam ear plugs; premolded, reusable plugs; and earmuffs.

    Bodies of 3 Myanmar Workers Killed in Mine Collapse Found

    August 28, 2019

    The bodies of two coal miners killed in Sunday’s collapse of a coal mine in Magwe Region’s Minhla Township were recovered on Tuesday, and a third had been located.

    “Two bodies were recovered from the debris [on Monday] night. Another body is buried under a pile of soil and rescuers are still trying to exhume it,” said U Myint Zaw, Magwe Region’s minister of natural resources and environmental conservation.

    The coal mine operated by the Inngyin Taung mining company collapsed on Sunday (25 August 2019) evening after heavy rains caused it to flood.

    Four miners—Ko Aung Chan Thar (16), Ko Naing Htet Oo (20) and Ko Soe Aung (19) of Min Hla Township, and Ko Paing Soe Win (28) of Ann Township—were trapped in the 600-foot-deep pit.

    Rescue workers tried to pump the water out and entered the pit in an effort to find the missing miners. However, they only found the bodies of three of the men.

    “Workers told investigators that a pond located on a hill burst its banks, sending a mass of water flowing into the pit. They ran out of the pit but the four could not escape as the mine collapsed,” the minister said.

    There are about 40 small and medium-sized coal mines operated by nine mining companies in the Minhla coal mining area, producing a total of about 2,000 tons of coal per month.

    China to launch new round of coal mine safety checks

    August 18, 2019

    China will launch a new round of safety inspections on coal mines across the country from late August until end-September, the country’s coal mine safety watchdog said on 14 August 2019 Wednesday.

    The checks follow a spate of fatal coal mine accidents that stirred concerns over poor safety conditions, particularly at small mines.

    Inspectors would crack down on illegal production and urge miners to improve their ability to deal with major disasters such as gas explosions and floods, the National Coal Mine Safety Administration said in a statement.

    Coal miners found to producing beyond their approved capacity will be punished, it added, without giving details.

    China produced 2.09 billion tonnes of coal over the first seven months this year, up 4.3% from the same period in 2018, according to official data.

    In May, China’s state planner said it would ramp up closures of small coal mines to boost safety and reduce pollution, aiming to cut the number of small coal mines nationally to less than 800 by 2021.

    Source : REUTURS | August 14, 2019

    Police among 18 feared killed in landslide at Myanmar jade mine

    July 28, 2019

    A landslide at a Myanmar jade mine killed 14 people including at least one policemen in the early hours of Sunday as earth and mud engulfed a guard post, and four people were missing and feared dead, police said.

    The jade hub of Hpakant, in Kachin State in the north of the north of the country, is frequently hit by deadly accidents, despite government pledges to clean up the lucrative mining industry.

    In April, 55 mining company employees were killed when a pond up a slope from where they were digging breached its banks, leading authorities to suspended 17 mining blocks over safety concerns.

    The government has ordered all mining activity in Hpakant to cease during Myanmar’s May-October monsoon season, but people in the area say scavengers still scour tailing piles for jade.

    Official sales of jade in Myanmar were worth 671 million euros ($750.04 million) in 2016-17, according to the most recent data published by the government as part of an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

    Source : Reuters

    Link : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-mine/police-among-18-feared-killed-in-landslide-at-myanmar-jade-mine-idUSKCN1UN05V

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