New temperature measuring unit to boost safety

by PNG Business News - May 09, 2022

Photo credit: Newcrest Mining

Newcrest Lihir has commissioned an improved Temperature Measuring Unit (TMU) that further enhances safety for personnel working at its geothermally active mining pit.

This second generation TMU comes after the christened Anako 13, commissioned on 6 March 2018; it engineers out the risk of personnel exposure to geysering events during drill hole measurement activities.

Anako 13 allowed geothermal technicians to operate a mobile arm from the vehicle remotely and simultaneously lower or raise a probe safely to measure and record temperature, water level and depth. All these are done from the safety and comfort of the vehicle cabin.

Newcrest teams collaborated with several business partners to deliver the improved Anako early this year, allowing geothermal technicians to continue doing their work safely as Lihir’s mining pit phases extend deeper and further north into Kapit orebody.

Manager – Mine Technical Services, Mr Ben Likia, thanked various Newcrest teams and business partners for delivering the project safely and ensuring a timely site deployment of Anako Sense, including training sessions for key personnel.

“I also congratulate our national employees who completed their training sessions. We have competent geothermal personnel who are now operating the new TMU, and several mobile maintenance personnel who will assist in ensuring the TMU is regularly maintained and fit for purpose,” he said.

“As a business, we value collaboration in creative and innovative work because it makes our business safe and sustainable in Papua New Guinea. The safety of our people in Lihir is our number one priority, and this improvement is testimony to that. We are committed to ensuring everybody goes home safe and healthy every day,” Mr Likia added.

Superintendent – Geothermal Operations, Mr Kaipale Pano, said the enthusiasm and feedback from the project team and personnel were heartening.

“The project is a success for Newcrest Lihir because we (Newcrest) encourage employees to experiment with new ideas to improve safety and production performance. We displayed Newcrest’s practice ‘Bottom-up Innovation’ and values ‘Working Together’ and ‘Innovation and Problem Solving’ through this project. We are proud to have the best people and outstanding operators, mostly Papua New Guineans, who constantly team up to deploy safe and latest mining technologies at Lihir,” said Mr Pano.

The name Anako was inspired by an incident at Lihir eight years ago. In 2013, Mr Samuel Ayata, a geothermal technician from Eastern Highlands and Morobe, sustained injuries from geysers when collecting data. His father, Ayata Anako, collapsed upon receiving news about the incident and was bedridden for almost three weeks, begging his son to quit his job.

“The scars on my body were a drive for our team to take on this safety initiative and continue improving it; we named the TMU after my father. I thank Newcrest for supporting our commitment to work safely for our families,” said Mr Ayata.


Article courtesy of the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum

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