Rescue drill in open pit mine generated valuable experience 20.7.2017 10:54

The rescue drill held in Terrafame’s Sotkamo mine on 19/07/2017 proceeded in accordance with the objectives concerned. Valuable experience was gained from the drill, situated in an open pit mine, which will help not only Terrafame’s fire brigade but also Kainuu Regional Rescue Authority to prepare for challenging rescue tasks in the mining field.

In accordance with the imaginary accident scenario, a haul truck had ended up under a rockslide and the driver was seriously injured. Due to the collapse of the mine wall, it was impossible to send a rescue operations unit directly to an accident site, so Terrafame’s factory fire brigade and Kainuu Regional Rescue Authority were obliged to resolve how the injured person could be safely removed from the mine. 

“From the haul truck, a zip-line was built going down to the ground surface, and from along this the injured driver was lowered onto a basket-type stretcher away from the accident site.  First aid for the patient was initiated immediately in situ,” explains Terrafame’s rescue supervisor, Ari-Pekka Pappila.

The deputy fire chief Henri Manninen from Kainuu Regional Rescue Authority who had acted as the drill manager assessed the drill as having gone well.

“The interaction between Kainuu Regional Rescue Authority and Terrafame’s factory fire brigade is starting to reach a good level. The folks are familiar to each other, and both sides know what equipment the other side has available. It’s essential that they know how to function in keeping with the situation,” Mr Manninen declares.

According to Terrafame’s chief mining officer Reijo Uusitalo, large machines are utilised, driving surfaces are inclined, and elevation differences are great.  Due to the exceptional conditions, rescue situation drills are important. This time, Terrafame’s factory fire brigade and Kainuu Regional Rescue Authority participated in the drill as well as Terrafame’s personnel from the mining section, production, communications and management: in total, about 20 persons. The drill was implemented as a surprise alarm.

Rescue drills are legislated and are a natural part of the co-operation between Terrafame and Kainuu Regional Rescue Authority. A rescue drill on this scale was last held at Sotkamo’s mine site during the winter of 2015.


Further information:

Watch a video about a rescue drill (only in Finnish)

Download the image

Download the image


Terrafame Ltd. is a Finnish multi-metal company producing nickel, zinc and cobolt at its mine and metal works located in Sotkamo. Our goal is to conduct environmentally sustainable, safe and profitable operations.

Article subjects: RescueTerrafame