Two new teams for 2023 SAMERC
29 September 2023
The 2023 South Australian Mines Emergency Response Competition (SAMERC) couldn’t have come at a better time for the Hillgrove Resources team at the Kanmantoo Copper Mine in the Adelaide Hills.
The Hillgrove team is one of two new entries for the SAMERC that is being hosted by SIMEC Mining and held in and around Whyalla on October 13-15.
The other is a team from Iluka Resources at the Jacinth Ambrosio zircon mine, 800km north west of Adelaide, as they join teams from SIMEC Mining, Newcrest and BHP (three) for the seven-team competition.
The Hillgrove Resources copper mine restart at Kanmantoo returned to underground operations just four months ago. The emergency response team has, however, been a year in the planning and was established before the first underground foray with ongoing development and training including sessions with Fire and Rescue Australia Training (FARAT) and other mine response outfits.
This makes Hillgrove possibly the most inexperienced outfit, in regards to time together, but its members are all highly-motivated volunteers from the mine’s workforce with a pretty handy mentor in Hillgrove Mine Manager Jol Jardine who was a co-founder of the SAMERC in 2010.
“This is great timing as we have been planning this team for nearly a year and it is all starting to come together now that we are going underground,” Jol said.
“This competition is a great motivator for our crew and is an extension of the ‘mutual aid’ training cooperation that sees Fire and Rescue Australia Training other mine crews helping our people and coming to our mine for exercises.
“This SAMERC is another chance for our team to learn even further and create even more networks with other emergency response crews.”
As a long-time organiser of emergency response competitions like the SAMERC, Jol is also excited about the prospect of competing in and around Whyalla in front of spectators. Most mining emergency response competitions are held at remote mine sites.
“I’ve been involved in this sort of city-based competition before in Western Australia and they are very popular,” Jol said.
“It is fantastic to have the public able to come along and watch … it creates a lot of awareness on safety and the amazing work these crews perform on a regular basis.”
But at the end of the day, it is as much about the competition too and Jol said his team wouldn’t be intimidated by the bigger operations’ more seasoned crews.
“We’re only a small mine but we’ve got a very motivated bunch of response professionals,” Jol said.
“I reckon we’ll give them a run for their money.”
The teams will be competing for the SAMERC Perpetual Trophy with trophies also awarded to the winners of each event along with Best Team Captain and a SAMERC Chairman’s Award for the team that best demonstrates the values of the competition.
Premium sponsors of the SIMEC Mining-hosted event include the City of Whyalla, Fire and Safety Australia, Byrnecut Australia, Raisebore Australia, Iluka Resources, South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy and SafeWork SA.
Main image: The Hillgrove rescue team kits up for a training exercise in preparation for the SAMERC.
Competing teams at the 2023 SAMERC
SIMEC Mining Iron Ore – Whyalla
Newcrest – Cadia Valley
Hillgrove Resources – Kanmantoo
Iluka Resources – Jacinth Ambrosia
BHP – Olympic Dam
BHP – Carrapateena
BHP – Prominent Hill
Competing teams at the 2023 SAMERC
Schedule and spectator information
When: Saturday October 14 (8am to 5pm) and Sunday, October 15 (8am to 3pm)
Where: In and around Whyalla
Viewing: Spectators are encouraged to come to the command centre at the Whyalla Marina (Buttlinggarra Way) where there will be displays, food and drink and rescue action from 8am to 5pm on Saturday and 8am to 3pm on Sunday.
Viewing: Spectators are also welcome at the Whyalla Visitor Centre (the big ship on Lincoln Highway) and the Whyalla CFS station (41 Keith St, Whyalla) where rescue action will also be happening from 8am to 5pm on Saturday and 8am to 3pm on Sunday.