ICSMRI 2015: A success for its first time on Canadian soil


ISCMRI panel

The 36th International Conference of Safety in Mines Research Institutes, ICSMRI 2015, organized by MIRARCO Mining Innovation and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) was a resounding success, drawing more than 200 attendees to Sudbury, Ontario from October 25-27. With the recent release of the Ontario Government’s Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Advisory Group's final report, the topic of safety is more relevant than ever.

With a line of distinguished speakers such as Mark Cutifani, CEO of Anglo American, Leo Gerard, international president of United Steelworkers, Joe Main, US assistant secretary of labour for Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), and International Mining Technology Hall of Fame inductee, Jim Joy, the Monday plenary session was definitely one of the highlights of this conference. The plenary was recorded and will be available on the MIRARCO and CIM websites.

The technical program offered insight into the many facets of mining safety. Some presentations focused on advances in technology such as filters that reduce emissions from vehicles used underground or wearables that monitor the welfare of workers at a distance. The impact of a regulatory framework and predicting an employee’s predisposition to risk-taking behaviors were just some of the human factors explored. Discussions around innovations in multi-disciplinary research and statistical analyses rounded out the technical program. The presentation will be made available on both the MIRARCO and CIM websites.    

“This is by far one of the best programs on mining safety ever assembled”, said Vic Pakalnis, conference chair and MIRARCO CEO. “Top global leaders from government, labour, industry and academia provided insights that will guide mining safety research in Canada and around the world.”   

The conference included a grand opening at Science North with remarks from Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger and Ontario Minister of Labour, Kevin Flynn. A minute of silence was observed in memory of the victim of the Nicke Rim mine fatality on October 20. A sold-out Scotch & Beer Networking Dinner that raised funds for the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and the CIM Foundation as well as workshops and tradeshow rounded the conference. The event also garnered media attention from The Sudbury Star and Northern Life.

The event would not have been possible without the generous support of Glencore, Hard-Line, Laurentian University Goodman School of Mines, ISSA Mining Section; Teck, Vale, Radiation Safety Institute of Canada, Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), Deloitte Wearables, KGHM, media partner REM Resource Engineering & Maintenance, and workshop partners, Wajax Power Systems, T.F. Hudgins Incorporated.