Program and Speakers

Registrations are now open for IMRB’s first ever virtual conference: 'Solving Problems Sharing Knowledge'. Join leading mining industry experts as they share insights on the latest developments, trends and innovative technology driving mines rescue.

Mark the date in your calendar: 7 - 8 September 2021. The conference begins at 7.00pm AEST each day, with the first hour dedicated to networking with attendees and sponsors.


Keynote Speaker

Dinghy Pattinson

COO Pike River Recovery Agency

IMRB21 is delighted to announce Dinghy Pattinson as our keynote speaker. With more than four decades of underground mining experience in New Zealand, consisting of 37 years in coal and 5 years in metalliferous, Dinghy has a wealth of experience to share. Since his appointment as Chief Operating Officer of the Pike River Recovery Agency in early 2018, Dinghy has overseen the planning and operational elements of the Pike River re-entry work and has responsibility for ensuring activities at the mine comply with statutory health and safety requirements.

Pike River Mine Re-entry: Challenges and Risks - Our Journey   


The Pike River Coal Mine explosion in New Zealand on 19 November 2010 claimed the lives of 29 men. 31 were working underground at the time of the explosion, and only 2 were able to escape. The subsequent explosions resulted in the mine being sealed. Prior to the 2017 general election, the families of the lost miners and the New Zealand public were promised that a Labour-elected government would support and fund a re-entry if it was deemed technically viable and safe to do so. 

After the election, on 31 January 2018, the Labour Party established the Pike River Recovery Agency Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau mā Iwa as a stand-alone government department.


This presentation covers • Introduction • Background • Key relationships • Founding principles • Planning • Operations • Challenges

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All speaker times are listed in Australian Eastern Standard Time

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Axel Bahr

Marketing Manager Segment Mining, Draeger



Effective cleaning of personal protective equipment (PPE)

Tuesday 7 September 23:10 – 23:30


Axel Bahr has been with Dräger since 1990 and has more than 30 years of experience in the area of Business Engineering, which he studied in Hamburg and Wilhelmshaven. He held different positions within Dräger and has been dealing closely with Mines Rescue as global product manager for closed circuit breathing apparatus since 2005. His main focus as Marketing Manager Mining now is to understand and support mines rescue with suitable solutions.

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Mike Campigotto

Chief Executive Officer, Safesight Exploration Inc.



Accelerating Rescue through Drone Technology

Tuesday 7 September 20:45 – 21:05

Mike Campigotto is the President and a founding member of SafeSight Exploration.

A Graduate of the University of Waterloo's Math and Computer Science program, Mike has had an extensive career in technology transformation. Over his 35 years in the digital industry Mike has participated in and championed the digital transformation of e-Government and e-Health around the globe.

The past 3 years have been focused on innovation within the mining sector in support of the Digital Transformation.


David Carey

Chief Executive Officer, Queensland Mines Rescue Service



QMRS Shaft Recovery System with IS Communications

Tuesday 7 September 21:45 – 22:00

A mining engineer with 40 years of experience in underground and open cut coal mining, David has held roles in general management, mine planning and mine management in both Australia and Indonesia.

David has spent 5 years with the New South Wales government as a Coal Mines Inspector, Senior Inspector and Area Manager leading the Extractive Industries Safety Advisory Committee.

Since 2004, David has been with Queensland Mines Rescue Services Ltd, and now serves as CEO, directing the company in providing leading edge emergency services to the coal industry.

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Erica Gallegos

ERT Superintendent, Metalkol Erg Africa



Creation, Training and Strengthening – Emergency Response Team

Tuesday 7 September 23:30 – 23:50

Paramedic | Firefighter | Mine Rescue | Technical Nurse

  • ERT training from 2005 - update time

  • KCC Mining 2010 = ERT Coordinator

  • KCC Mining 2014 - HSE Superintendent in Open pit and MR UG

  • Metalkol 2018 - ERT Superintendent


Wen Hu

Xi'an University of Science and Technology, School Of Safety, Science and Engineering



Development and application of the communication device in boreholes

Wednesday 8 September 21:20 – 21:40

Wen Hu is a professor at Xi'an University of Science and Technology, a Doctoral Supervisor, Director of the Science and Technology Department and discipline leader of Safety Science and Engineering.


Wen Hu is also the Director of national mine rescue (Xi'an) research centre, and mainly engages in the teaching and scientific research of coal fire disaster prevention and mine emergency rescue. He presided over the research and development of technologies and equipment such as mine borehole life information detector and unmanned intelligent detection aircraft in roadway disaster area, which has played an important role in many rescue operations.


Mannas Fourie

Chief Executive Officer, Mines Rescue Services South Africa



Rescue and Recovery After a Shaft Sinking Kibble Descended Uncontrollably Down a Sinking Shaft

Wednesday 8th September 20:00 – 20:20

Open Pit Rescue & Recovery due to Highwall Failure

Wednesday 8 September 00:10 – 00:30

JAW Fourie (Mannas), is the Chief Executive Officer at Mines Rescue Services in South Africa.  Mannas worked himself through the ranks to Mining Executive and joined Mines Rescue Services as CEO, in 2017. 

Having 27 years Mining Operations experience, he successfully managed several difficult and challenging Gold Mines with various mining methodologies in South Africa.

During his mining career, he was an active Mines Rescue Team Member and served as Captain of the Rescue Team. This platform gave him extensive exposure to several underground fires and mine rescue and recovery incidents.

Mannas is also a Board Member to the International Mines Rescue Body and with his mining experience, emergency response training and his passion for people, he aims progressively through great leadership to make an important contribution to the Mining Industry.


Gloria Catalina Gheorghe

Mines Safety and Rescue Manager, National Mining Agency



Deadly mining emergencies in Colombia (2005-2020): Hierarchical causation model of 100 events investigated.

Wednesday 8 September 21:00 – 21:20


Gloria is an expert in mining safety, crisis management and mining rescue. She completed her undergraduate studies at the National University of Colombia and completed her Postgraduate Masters in Occupation and Environmental Health, specialising in Occupational Safety and Health Management.


Gloria has 14 years’ experience in the energy mining sector, with both public and private companies. Since 2012, Gloria has been serving as the Mines Safety and Rescue Manager at the National Mining Agency. Here, she has been coordinating the National Mines Rescue System and leading the implementation of the National Mines Safety Policy.

During her time in the energy mining industry, Gloria has attained many skills and qualifications including those in the prevention of methane and coal dust explosions, incident command systems, pre-hospital life support training, mine rescue instructing and is an expert in mining accident investigation. 

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Andrzej Kleszcz

Chief Executive Officer, Central Mines Rescue Station



The functioning of the Central Mines Rescue Station during the epidemic SARS – COV-19

Tuesday 7 September 22:50 – 23:10

Andrzej Kleszcz graduated from the University of Silesia, with a specialty in mine design and construction. He started his professional career in Przedsiębiorstwo Robót Górniczych in Mysłowice, moving up the career ladder from an intern to a department foreman. Duties included supervision over the rescue services of the entrepreneur and entities professionally engaged in mining rescue. Mr. Kleszcz took part in many rescue operations, participated in the work of committees appointed by the President of the State Mining Authority to investigate the causes and circumstances of hazardous events. Andrzej is the co-author of the ordinance in the matter of mine rescue and co-organizer of the International Competition of Rescue Teams in Poland. From 2014 to 2016, he was the deputy director of the department of underground and opencast mining at the State Mining Authority. In June 2016, Andrzej accepted the position of a Member of the Management Board - Vice-President for Technical Affairs at the Central Mining Rescue Station S.A.


Vladimir Kravchenko

Chairman, Emergency Rescue Services Associations of the Republic of Kazakhstan



Trainings and competitions of mine rescuers -developments and innovations

Wednesday 8 September 23:30 – 23:50


Vladimir has more than 45 years’ experience in the mines rescue services in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Graduating from Polytechnic Institute in Kazakhstan in 1985, Vladimir repeatedly managed the liquidation of the consequences of complex technogenic accidents in various regions of the Republic of Kazakhstan.


Vladimir has been instrumental in getting Kazakhstan recognised in the IMRB. In 2013, he initiated the entry of the Republic of Kazakhstan

and in 2019 once again initiated the entry of the State Fire and Mine Rescue Service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Kazakhstan into the IMRB.


In 2021, Mr Kravchenko became the Chairman of the Association of Emergency Rescue Services of the Republic of Kazakhstan and at present is focusing on the the coordination and effective interaction of all mine rescue services in the Republic of Kazakhstan.


Author of three monographs:

Lifeguard's Textbook (ISBN 9965-727-04-X);

Mine Rescue Workshop (ISBN 9965-9839 5-X);

Gas Rescue Service at Industrial Facilities (ISBN 9965-27-312-X).

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Norm Ladouceur

Corporate Manager of Health, Safety & Security, Agnico Eagle Mines



Emergency preparedness and response in very remote locations

Wednesday 8 September 23:50 – 00:10


Norm has been in the Mining and Mine Rescue – Emergency response industry for over 37 years with experience in underground, open pit, mill-process plants and surface infrastructure. During this time, Mr Ladouceur has worked in Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, the territory of Nunavut and Nevada.

Norm has competed in several Mine Rescue competitions as well as been a judge at numerous events on the district, regional and world stages.


Nicolai Medvedev

General Manager, FSUE Mines Rescue Services (Emercom Of Russia)



Mines rescue action plan, implemented owing to emergency response operations on oil mine No 3 “Yareganeft” of LLC “LUKOIL – Komi”

Wednesday 8 September 20:40 – 21:00


Nicolai Medvedev is the General Manager of FSUE Mines Rescue Service (EMERCOM of Russia). The FSUE Mines Rescue Service is the biggest enterprise in Russia, consisting of 14 big mine rescue units (including more than 370 mine rescue team members), responsible for the rescue in mining.

Nicolai Medvedev has 30-years of mine rescue and underground coal mining experience in Russia. He started his mine rescue career in Vorkuta, one of the most famous coal mining cities, situated in the Extreme North territory of Russia.

He has participated in emergency response operations in coal mining facilities as a briefing officer and currently has the responsibility of overseeing accident prevention activities in mining facilities.

Nicolai Medvedev is ready to share experience and knowledge.

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Raffi Jabrayas

Vice President, Exyn Technologies



Autonomous Aerial Robots: Acquiring Data in Complex & Dangerous Environments

Wednesday 8 September 22:50 – 23:10


Raffi Jabrayan is the Vice President, Commercial Sales and Business Development for Exyn Technologies. He oversees the expansion of the business internationally in the mining sector, as well as penetration into other industries. A large part of his role at Exyn is to help miners leverage the data produced by Exyn’s autonomous aerial robots to streamline underground inspections, enhance operational efficiency and reduce risk.

Raffi has managed digital and technology innovation projects for mining companies  and was intimately involved with operationalizing new technologies at Dundee Precious Metals. Raffi oversaw the scouting, due diligence, implementation and post integration assessment of Dundee’s digital and technology projects.

Raffi is a seasoned mining professional with practical experience at both the plant and corporate level in various capacities, and has completed the Digital Business Strategy Program at MIT Sloan as well as Driving Strategic Impact from Columbia Business School


Jeffery Kravitz

President, JHK & Associates Consulting LLC



COVID – 19 impacts on Mines Rescue Team Readiness and Mine Risk Assessments

Tuesday 7 September 22:30 – 22:50


Dr. Kravitz is the President of JHK & Associates Consulting, LLC.  He holds an MBA and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and a BSEE degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) in Pennsylvania.  Dr. Kravitz has received many awards and accolades and is a member of several mining related Boards of Directors. He is the President of the Holmes Mine Rescue Association.

Dr. Kravitz worked at the Mine Safety and Health Administration for over 43 years. He served as the Chief, Mine Emergency Operations, and the Chief, Scientific Development for MSHA. He was responsible for seeking out and developing new technology for mine emergency operations and led MSHA's mine emergency operations and respiratory protection programs. He has been involved in over 80 mine emergency responses in the United States and Internationally.


Kari Lentowicz

Managing Director, Diamonds in the Rough Emergency Rescue Organisation



Paving the way with sticks and stones

Wednesday 8 September 22:30 – 22:50


Kari Lentowicz hails from Northern Saskatchewan, Canada. In 2014, Kari became the Saskatchewan's first female Mine Rescue Instructor after several years of participating in mine rescue. She has participated as a competitor in nine competitions and a volunteer casualty and judge in several more. With her passion for emergency response, Kari went on to complete her Master of Arts in Disaster and Emergency Management sparking further interest in the area of inclusion within workplaces.

In 2018, Kari and fellow colleagues formed Diamonds in the Rough Emergency Rescue Organization (DITR) dedicated to increasing awareness around diversity, equality, and inclusion. DITR participated in the 2018 International Mines Rescue Competition becoming the first all-women's team to compete in the event. They finished 5th in the underground event and 15th overall. Kari's drive to complete this project set a world stage to increase the culture of inclusion in the mine rescue community.

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Robert Podolski




Resys hazardous area wireless communications system for mines rescue

Tuesday 7 September 21:05 – 21:25

Robert Podolski is a veteran in mining and mining rescue areas. He has been an active member of the International Mining Rescue Cooperation, since Louisville 1999, Nevada 2000 (IMRC) and Kokotek, Poland 2001 (IMRB). He was also a coach for the Polish Copper Mining Rescue Team “White Eagles” from 2000 – 2008.

Robert has a strong background in Polish copper and Lower Silesia coal mines as well as in Polish Mining Authority Administration. He has also supervised rescue operations as a State Authority in all types of mining. His last position was as Director of Regional Mining Office in  ...and once endangered "participant" in real underground fire operation. Last position - Director of Regional Mining Office in Wroclaw.

Mr Podolski is a member of SITG (Polish: Society of Engineers and Technics of Mining) as well as author and co-author of numerous technical papers.


Owen Salisbury

Technical Services Manager, Whitehaven Coal Limited



Management of Spontaneous Combustion – Operational Experience

Wednesday 8 September 21:40 – 22:00


Owen has worked as a Technical Services Manager for the last 17 years at multiple mines from Queensland and New South Wales. Since December 2012, he has been based at Narrabri Mine in New South Wales.

Prior to his work as a Technical Services Manager, Owen worked as a Safety and Training Manager in New South Wales and Queensland and gained operational experience in New South Wales coal mines.

Mr Salisbury holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) with honours from the University of New South Wales, a Graduate Diploma in Safety Science from the University of New South Wales, Ventilation Officer Qualification, 2nd and 3rd Class Certificates of Competency in both New South Wales and Queensland.


Dmytro Vakhnytskyi

Head of Technical Marketing, Dezega



Buddy breathing underground oxygen sharing tactics

Tuesday 7 September 21:25 – 21:45


Dmytro is an expert in the field of self-contained breathing apparatus with compressed oxygen (SCBA CO) and trains people in the use of his breathing apparatus and auxiliary equipment. He was a judge of the International Mine Rescue Competition IMRC-2018 and a speaker at the International Mine Rescue Conference IMRB-2019.

Since March 2020, Dmytro is the head of the Technical Marketing Unit at DEZEGA where he is responsible for the company’s product matrix, product certification, building business processes, developing new and upgrading existing products. Prior to his current position, Dmytro was the Lead Engineer of the Marketing Department where he was responsible for RPE on the compressed oxygen.


Alaster Wylie

State Operations Manager, NSW Mines Rescue



Developing a contemporary mines rescue response model for the NSW coal industry

Wednesday 8 September 23:10 – 23:30


With 16 years' experience in underground coal mining gained from a diverse range of operational, management and project roles, Alaster's experience has embedded a thorough understanding and practical application of Workplace Health and Safety legislation and Mines Safety Management Systems. Prior to joining NSW Mines Rescue in 2019 he was the Operations Manager for South32 Dendrobium Mine, preceded by senior roles in longwall operations.

He is also part of the Regional Emergency Management Committee, a forum which is responsible for emergency management in regional government areas. Alaster is a member of the Mine Managers Association of Australia, is the Chair of the Mines Rescue Working Group and has been a mines rescue brigade member for 12 years.

Alaster's qualifications include a Mining Engineering Managers Certificate of Competency, Advanced Diploma in Underground Coal Mine Management and SAI Global Lead Auditor qualifications. He is currently completing an Executive Master of Business Administration.

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Ray Smith

Operations Manager, QMRS



Managing mines emergencies, software developments

Wednesday 8 September 20:20 – 20:40


Qualifications include Advanced Diploma in Risk Management, Advanced Diploma in Emergency Management, ERZC/Deputy Qualification Class 3 ticket, Diploma in Underground Mining and Diploma in Business Management. Currently undertaking study towards completion of an MBA.


Recent experiences as the Lead Manager with the Re-entry into North Goonyella Coalmine in 2019, Cook Colliery (Oxidation Event) and Crinum Coalmine (Reconnaissance to reopen the mine) in 2020.


Course facilitator in 2017 MEMS training program, educating UG Coal Mines personnel in Incident Management Training, the scope was then expanded into training personnel in Surface Coal Mines and Surface & Underground Metals Mines.


In 2018 QMRS advanced the MRAS software from Microsoft Access to MEMS – SQL platform, providing a more functional software to QMRS stakeholders.

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Alexey Voroshilov

Deputy Director for Research, Kuzbass – COT LLC



Application of new digital technology for promotion of occupational safety and health in the coal mining industry of Russian Federation. Continuous competency management of workers and occupational risks assessment in workplace.

Tuesday 7 September 23:50 – 00:10


Alexey leads and coordinates the work on the practical use of the Probability of Harm Risk methodology for quantitative assessment of injury risks. With the direct participation of Alexei Voroshilov, the software for the injury risk assessment programme, its theoretical and factual substantiation, is being developed.  The main specifics of the assessment of risks of injuries due to personal incompetent actions of an employee, is that it is numerical and gives the employer a forecasted number of injured workers in the enterprise at the end of the calendar year.

In 2012 he defended his PhD thesis in the field of fire and industrial safety (mining), the topic of his PhD thesis was "Investigation of regularities of influence of moisture on the process of self-heating of coal".


Sylvester Yenzanya

Assistant Lecturer, University of Mines and Technology

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Selection of the Number of Mines Rescue Brigades Required for a Mine Using Multi-Criteria Decision Model

Wednesday 8 September 00:30 – 00:50


Bio to come