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Asia-Pacific Partnership (APP) founding partners Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, and the United States of America (USA) along with the newest partner, Canada have agreed to work together and with private sector partners to meet goals for energy security, national air pollution reduction, and climate change in ways that promote sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. The seven partner countries represent about half of the world’s economy, population and energy use. The Partnership has created eight task forces comprised of public and private representatives from key industry sectors, one of which is the Coal Mining Task Force.

APP Partners collectively generate approximately 65% of the world’s primary coal production. Coal is the dominant fuel source globally and among the partners, its use is expected to continue to grow over the coming decades. One of the task force’s objectives is the improvement of workplace safety in mining and coal processing.  This is to be addressed by the Coal Mining Task Force by developing a “Coal Mine Health & Safety Strategy (CMHS).

The CMHS aims to significantly reduce the number of mine accidents and fatalities by promoting leading health and safety practices.  This Strategy will also deliver environmental benefits, through promoting opportunities to capture and utilise coal mine methane, in particular from ventilation air which would otherwise be expelled, and  through using coal seam gas in advance of mining operations.  It focuses on the root causes of multiple mine fatalities and injuries such as fire and explosions from gas releases, inrush, and rock falls.  Five sub-projects have been identified as priority areas for APP Partners to address in order to work towards achieving the Strategy's objective.  One of these sub-projects relates to Identify and Collate Leading Safety Technologies. The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism has engaged CSIRO to undertake the project.

Printed: 22 September, 2021.

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