North East mining firm exports region's mining expertise to China
The North East’s centuries-old mining heritage once put the region at the heart of the industrial revolution before globalisation and privatisation led to a hobbling of the region and the UK’s mines in the 80s.
The impact and causes of the mine closures is still passionately debated today with many communities still struggling to thrive following the collapse of the UK coal industry, especially in the North East where towns and villages were particularly badly hit.
However, the region’s mining expertise and pedigree did not just disappear overnight with the North East still home to some major surface mines.
Durham-based Banks Mining still operates a number of surface mines across the UK, including its Shotton surface mine site in Cramlington, and was recently tapped up for its expertise by the Chinese State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS).
Banks Mining’s health and safety manager Christian Adkins spent a day working with 18 senior directors from nine different Chinese cities and provinces looking at how SAWS can proactively tackle health and safety issues at its surface mine sites.
Such was the success of the initiative that a second programme has already been lined up a with a second delegation of senior SAWS personnel visiting the UK in October for a another day with members of the Banks Mining team.
Following the training day, Adkins commented: “Four decades experience of surface mining has given Banks Mining a unique insight into how this translates into everyday operating practices, what needs to be done to create the right working environment, how inspections and investigations are carried out by the relevant authorities, and the valuable contribution that our employees can make to developing, improving and implementing safety practices on the ground.”