RB: Although US drilling experts and some US-based technology was involved (non of it US government provided), the bulk of the rescue operation was managed, staffed and equipped by Chileans. Chile, after all, has a long history of mining and has been a leader in mining innovation in recent years. Thus credit is properly due to the Chileans above and below ground as well as (if not more than) their US colleagues.
Jeff Hart, who drilled straight for 33 days to get to the miners, was drilling water wells for the U.S. Army’s forward operating bases in Afghanistan when he got the call to fly to Chile.
He spent the next 33 days on his feet, operating the drill that finally provided a way out Saturday for 33 trapped miners. “You have to feel through your feet what the drill is doing; it’s a vibration you get so that you know what’s happening,” explained Hart, a contractor from Denver, Colorado. A muscular, taciturn man with callused hands and a sunburned face, Hart normally pounds rock for oil or water. He’s used to extreme conditions while he works the hydraulic levers that guide the drills’ hammers…
Geotec operations manager James Stefanic said he quickly assembled “a top of the line team” of drillers who are intimately familiar with the key equipment, including engineers from two Pennsylvania companies — Schramm Inc., which makes the T130 drill, and Center Rock Inc., which makes the drill bits.
Standing before the levers, pressure meters and gauges on the T130?s control panel, Hart and the rest of the team faced many challenges in drilling the shaft. At one point, the drill struck a metal support beam in the poorly mapped mine, shattering its hammers. Fresh equipment had to be flown in from the United States and progress was delayed for days as powerful magnets were lowered to pull out the pieces…
And off topic but cleqarly the super heor is already affected by the Green Bug in Wellywood. Half a day and that’s happened already . DPF you might have to leave for a safer place to preserve your thinking.
Viking2: You may have watched Mr. Hart on US TV, (incidentally, he is a private contractor in Afghanistan working for the Army but is not a service member), but do really think that a handful of Americans pulled this operation off while the Chileans stood around? If so, you and RB must have very selective views of the event.
While 33 men trapped in a mine cling to hope that they’ll get out alive, the company that put them there says it can’t afford to pay their salaries and may go bankrupt.
The San Esteban mining company is in such bad shape that it has neither the equipment nor the money to rescue the men; Chile’s state-owned mining company is digging the escape tunnel, which will cost about $1.7 million.
In the days after the Aug. 5 tunnel collapse at the San Jose gold and copper mine, company leaders defended their safety measures, but have since gone mum and attempts to reach anyone at San Esteban were not successful.
How such a financially unstable business was allowed to operate is a question that is putting one of Chile’s top industries under the microscope, exposing a dark underside of questionable regulation that may ultimately reflect more on government priorities than one rogue company.
Sen. Baldo Prokurica, who is on the Senate mining committee, says he has been pushing Congress for years to increase the number of inspectors for the state regulatory agency, Sernageomin. It has only 18, he said, which makes regulating the country’s several hundred mines a daunting task.
“The government has abandoned (the regulator),” Prokurica said in an interview with The Associated Press. “If you look at the laws, they are good. We need to enforce the laws, not make more laws or increase fines.”
Prokurica said the mine operator had a poor safety record. In 2007, company executives were charged with involuntary manslaughter for the death of a miner. The worker’s family settled, but the mine was closed until it could comply with key safety regulations, said Prokurica.
In 2008, the mine reopened even though the company apparently hadn’t complied with all the regulations, he said, adding that the circumstances surrounding the reopening are being investigated.
President Sebastian Pinera has fired top regulators and created a commission to investigate the accident and the agency. Since the collapse, the agency has shut down at least 18 small mines for safety violations, a possible sign that lax safety measures are open secrets at many mines.
On Thursday, the first of many expected lawsuits against San Esteban and the government were filed, and a judge ordered the retention of $1.8 million of company money in anticipation of the suits.
Since 2000, about 34 people have died every year on average in mining accidents in Chile, with a high of 43 in 2008, according to a review of Sernageomin data.
RB: That a private mining firm in a highly deregulated economic environment skirted safety laws and failed to maintain equipment should come as no surprise (remember that Chile has served a market-oriented model for a number of NZ economists and policy-makers). So in the face of such private sector failure the Chilean state-owned company (CODELCO) stepped in to do the job and has done it well. What does this do to your supposedly pro-market, pro-deregulation, and anti-state enterprise views? And what does your last post have to do with giving Chileans credit for mounting what is the most successful (so far) rescue operation in mining history? The American participation has been acknowledged but you seem reluctant to admit that the Chileans played a major part in the operation as well. Why is that? Do you have an issue with Chileans per chance? That would be sad.
Some of the chicks there are pretty hot. I’m just glad that the more sophisticated and scientifically advanced Americans got the somewhat primitive Chileans out of a tight spot. De-regulation works fine in civilised countries. I think its a mistake to force it upon under-developed countries with shakey economic foundations. I’ve worked for American international companies in many different countries and we generally always have to mentor the locals pretty closely to bring them up to speed.
October 13th, 2010 at 6:14 pm
“Do you have an issue with Chileans per chance?”
Some of the chicks there are pretty hot. I’m just glad that the more sophisticated and scientifically advanced Americans got the somewhat primitive Chileans out of a tight spot. De-regulation works fine in civilised countries. I think its a mistake to force it upon under-developed countries with shakey economic foundations.
And who the FUCK forced it on Chile? The chicago school and your mate Milt “Fuck ‘em, I’m rich, why should I care” Freedman and the rest of your beloved right wing nazi amerikans.
Jakarta is coming.
And, back ON TOPIC, as I pointed out in GD, even this little socialist paradise you so despise has played a role in the rescue.
Monitoring gear developed in New Zealand is being used to help doctors assess the vital signs of the miners trapped in the Chilean mine.
Zephyr Technology began developing smart sensor fabric harnesses to monitor the wearer’s physiological status in a Pakuranga garage seven years ago and the equipment is now used by US special forces troops, Swat teams and firefighters.
I hope the rabid atheists who infest this site note the importance spirituality and prayer played in helping these guys maintain their mental equilibrium for two whole months.
Yet God didn’t save them. He didn’t do a thing. It was other people who saved them. Not some god. If they didn’t have communication equipment invented by humans (not god) they’d have gone insane, even with their fairy tale.
In situations like this people “thank god”. But give credit where credit’s due. And if you’re gonna thank god, then you gotta blame god for causing the collapse in the first place.
Yes, social justice has been done thanks to the power and goodwill of the collective. The capitalist scum have been brought to their knees. The people have spoken!
Or whatever. I might be more teary eyed but for the sad spectacle of politicians sewing up their re-election on the backs of these people.
Oh and thank god for, well, absolutely nothing. It was humans who made the mess and humans who cleaned it up. And if you’re going to thank any supernatural being, either be consistent and say why you’re thanking, of all the supernatural gods out there, your one. Otherwise I expect to see thanks going in equal measure to Zeus, Jupiter, Allah, and all your other friends. Just a bit of consistency, friends.
RB: You have it wrong. Chile is not some primitive backwater and its major export industry–mining–has developed technologies used elsewhere in the world including the US. It is also a quite civilised place and its economic foundations are strong. Remember that it was the Chicago School’s laboratory under Pinochet, and that the current president is the son of Pinochet’s Labour Minister. It has a growth rate of 8% and a GDP greater than NZs. So I beg to differ with you on the assessment that the place is under-developed. If so the same can be said for NZ and OZ.
Nor I am being anti-American here (Sector 7g seems to think so). I just want credit to be given where it is due. I have already recognised the American role, which was clearly vital. But a handful of Americans did not pull this rescue operation off alone.
I will agree with you on one thing: Chilean wimin are hot–and feisty too.
“Chile is not some primitive backwater and its major export industry–mining–has developed technologies used elsewhere in the world including the US. It is also a quite civilised place and its economic foundations are strong. It has a growth rate of 8% and a GDP greater than NZs.”
OK, so the deregulated scenario was overall quite beneficial for Chile. That’s great.
Actually RB, the greatest period of growth in Chile in the last 40 years occurred under the Socialist-led Concertacion governments of Ricardo Lagos and Michelle Bachellete. Although they remained faithful to the market-driven model, they reigned in some of the more egregious instances of de-regulation. They also reaffirmed state majority control of mining as the country’s leading export sector and strategic asset. It is the state-owned mining sector that is technologically advanced, whereas the privately owned mines are the ones that have had safety and maintenance issues. So all in all, de-regulation was and is a very much mixed blessing in Chile–as it is elsewhere.
So “God” got them out…..one wonders why “God” neeeded to trap them there in the first place. I love how all the ghost lovers skirt over the issue that for every “miracle” God preforms to save a human life he has to imperial and kill so many others along the way….wait for this same nonsense on the next major plane crash ….
MNIJ said… And who the FUCK forced it on Chile? The chicago school and your mate Milt “Fuck ‘em, I’m rich, why should I care” Freedman and the rest of your beloved right wing nazi amerikans.
And here comes the fucktard economics illiterate of this world to make a simpleton comment on something she/he probably read about it on the newspaper/internet.
MIIJ, have you read a single publication from Milton Friedman for you to make a ridiculous argument as you made above? If so, which one? Your comment is similar to another economics illiterate blogger Bomber who made the same comment on TV3, The Nations program about a month ago? Blame free-markets & Milton Friedman ideologies. It is this sort of kindergarten knowledge spouted by illiterates like you (and Bernard hickeys of this world) about the subject that makes the uninformed public think that free-markets is something evil or at fault.
It is time for you MNIJ to step up your economics readings from reading university textbooks (which is way behind) to reading more recent research stuff. I can guarantee you that you would be more informed if you do so. WHY? Because I have. I have not been formally trained in economics, but I have read hundreds of refereed publications on the topic. It is something that I must do , since I develop/implement numerical models for use in commercial software. Some called it as financial engineering, computational finance or computational economics, etc,… . It means that I am more informed than you. It would be a waste of time & money for me to hire an economist to consult on model development & implementation and that’s the reason I do it on my own. The stuff I do is much more complex than what they do at the Treasury or RBNZ, in terms of modelling and the intensiveness of computations. Some calculations (depending on the parameters specified) can run for up to 4 hours , if accuracy is important .
I laugh when economics illiterates like you, trying to make an informed comment on the subject, while in reality, such comment is simply stupid. I have more than 4000 downloaded papers in economics in my archive (some from SSRN, some from RePEC and others are directly from the economic journals & literatures) which I’ve read most of them, i.e., the full articles and some I have read only the abstracts.
How about you save yourself from making stupid comments because it is laughable to those of us who knows a thing or two about economics. Go and learn economics (not only textbooks but also research publications) before you come back here to post some useful comments.
Here is my advise. Stick to whatever your area of expertise, be it law, librarian or whatever, because once you try to comment on a subject that you barely know anything about except , reading misinformed opinions such as Hickey and the likes on the net, that exposes you as an illiterate. See, I don’t comment on topics that I have no clue about. If there is a topic on medical science here at Kiwiblog, where clinicians are discussing it here, then I would keep my mouth shut since I have no knowledge on the topic.
Its not often Im watching TV live these days – I tend to watch news clips from archives and tivo shows but I was watching the live extraction and it was quite a warm fuzzies thrill – and apparently I was joined by a BILLION others!
Manolo – Gerry and Parakura would’ve trimmed down nicely after 2 months of little food down a mine.