Two-year run
Nanisivik mine accident-free

Kerry McCluskey
Northern News Services

NANISIVIK (Sep 13/99) - It's been a little more than two years since the mining department at Nanisivik mine has had an accident. For management and workers, that's excellent news.

"As of Aug. 27, it was two years. That's really quite an accomplishment for a group of 50 miners," Ron Light, the mine's general manager, said.

"That's the longest period we've gone since 1981. That time we went for two years and five months," he said.

Responsible for tracking the safety records of each department and of the overall organization, Light said the entire company, owned by Canzinco Ltd., a subsidiary of Toronto-based Breakwater Resources Ltd., had shown a very strong safety record since 1997.

The key to their safety success includes a commitment made by employees and management to working safety.

Miners also receive consistent training in health and safety areas. Further, an observation system developed by Ontario miner Neil George has been implemented.

"There are five points you observe in your work day that promote health and safety in the workplace," Light said.

He added that mining manager Wayne Osborne had been instrumental in putting the

various safety practices into place.

Light, who has been employed by Nanisivik mine for the last 12 years, said the mining department's recent achievement, which totals out at 247,790 accident-free work hours, puts them in the running for the coveted John T. Ryan Award next May. Given the mine showing the best safety record, Light said it would be a tribute to the safety procedures that helped them reach their goal.

"We're quite pumped about it. We're quite proud of our mine," Light said.

The mine, which employs 190 people, 15 per cent of whom are Inuit, has been producing zinc since 1976.

It has a life expectancy of four more years. However, but due to ongoing exploration, management at the mine is confident that its life of the mine will be extended.