Mr Baines welcomed members to the meeting in particular Dr Jones attending for the first time since accepting membership of the Group. Mr Kilford said he would brief Mr McCullough, UK Coal, following the meeting to inform his potential future attendance.
The minutes were agreed as a true record of the 9th Meeting held on Wednesday 20 February 2013.
Industry membership of MPQC Board, Council, T&E and Quality Committees was reviewed. It was noted that Messrs Williams and Hill (HSE), Palmer (UK Coal), Watson (Mines Rescue), Smith and Greaves (CPL) were T&E Members. Further membership of the Council was desirable to ensure full industry representation at the three meetings each year. Mr James said he would consider providing a representative from Winsford Mine.
The traceability of explosives position had been circulated with the agenda. The full consultation package would be circulated to the Group.
Action: Mr Hill
Opposition to the proposal therein would be pursued through MAUK.
The Boulby presentation had been circulated to the Group with the agenda.
Dr Foster had circulated the statement of Scope for mapping existing generic NOS to GMIRM and would discuss further with members as necessary.
Mines Rescue and Emergency Scientific Services would be addressed by agenda item 6.
The scope of the work proposed by Golder Associates updating industry guidance on Rockbolting in Mines had been circulated to the Group. Members were asked to consider and forward any comments to Mr Kilford, prior to discussion at the next meeting.
Mr Dunn presented details of the plan for development of the South Bostock area to mine previously unworked areas of salt having the potential for 20 years production.
The outlined initial work to drive over a mile of tunnel, achieved without any accidents taking place, through ground having geological features that were unfamiliar to workmen at the mine. He noted that considerable discussion, guidance and consultation with the work force had been undertaken during the process and work was continuing towards completion in mid-2014.
He considered that the work of the MISLG had, in part, influenced the strategy applied to this operation, the risk assessment and control of major hazards and subsequent safe operations.
Mr Dunn drew attention to the risk assessment formulation, initiatives to effectively control contractors and hauliers visiting the site, mobile plant and vehicle management and said recent HSE intervention visits addressing diesel vehicles and shafts had been broadly compliant.
Discussion on the HSE intervention protocol took place. Members questioned whether intervention markings awarded were influenced by an HSE desire to avoid being seen as “endorsing” or “approving” individual companies.
In conclusion Mr Dunn questioned the ongoing role of MISLG who should lead and be involved in the Group and whether the Group was strategically avoiding catastrophe or simply checking compliance.
Mr Baines thanked Mr Dunn for his presentation and agreed that the role of the Group should be reviewed. He proposed that leadership and competence throughout the industry should be addressed by the Group; this view was supported by members.
Mr Lawton reviewed progress with development of the new mining regulations, intended to be introduced with effect from 1 October 2014 and said the formal consultation would take place at the end of 2013 for a period of approximately 2 months. Informal consultation would continue until this time to garner views of industry as work progressed. He noted the short timescale applied to this process and that this was unlikely to change.
Mr Denton said that preparation of guidance to support the new regulations was currently taking place and this would also be subject to consultation.
It was anticipated that once nearly complete, a set of regulations would be available for circulation within a month.
The future provision of this critical facility was discussed. Dr Jones said the current arrangements may disappear with loss of expertise and skill in the near future. He said that maintenance of the 24/7 service was of paramount importance together with a range of facilities, roadway dust sampling, gas sampling etc that the industry required.
Mr Baines said he would consider this matter further in conjunction with Mr Hunneyball.
Action: Mr Baines
Mr Denton said the provision of future sustainable Mines Rescue Service for the industry was also under consideration and some modification to the current approved scheme was anticipated.
Dr Jones said that the most important factor in future rescue provision was mutual support between mines to ensure effective arrangements were available to every mine.
A meeting between operators and MRSL would be convened to consider this topic further; this topic would also form an agenda item at the next meeting.
Action: Mr Hill
A similar meeting would be convened to consider legislative changes, if necessary, following receipt of the draft regulations.
Mr Dunn said a small UK Mines Rescue competition would shortly be held at Winsford Mine and operators were invited to participate as appropriate.
Mr Baines closed the meeting and thanked members for their attendance and contributions.