"As a recent new vendor to the mine [K1-K2 at Esterhazy, Sask.], I was hugely impressed with their culture of safety on my first visit in December 2005," wrote Winnipeg's Rob McPhail. "I hope and expect that they will receive the recognition they deserve in the days and weeks to come. At the very least, we should find ways for their key people to spread that culture throughout the mining community."
McPhail is no stranger to mining. His job titles include president of ALMITRA (see www.Almitra.ca) and sub-consultant to SNC-LAVALIN, as well as chair of the MANITOBA MINING BOARD (see www.gov.mb.ca/iedm/mrd/board/mboard.html).
Mine owner MOSAIC of Plymouth, Minnesota, has made a preliminary determination that the fire in its potash mine was caused by a cutting torch. The torch was being used to remove bolts from a flange on a polyethylene pipe when the interior of the pipe was ignited, sending toxic black smoke through a section of the K2 mine. Seventy-two miners were safely evacuated.