The town of Madang will host more than 200 participants from various mining and petroleum companies from October 02nd to the 04th for the PNG Extractive Industries Emergency Response Challenge (EIERC).

Formerly known as the National Mining Emergency Response Challenge organised by the Mineral Resources Authority, the Challenge, now under the stewardship of the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, will see nine teams being tested on their emergency response capabilities.

The three-day event comprises a theory exam on day one, followed by two days of intense competition in six specific events which will be conducted at the PNG Maritime College and will see teams from Ok Tedi Mining, Porgera Joint Venture, Harmony Gold, Simberi, Oil Search, Ramu Nickel and Newcrest Lihir who will also be sending a women’s team.

The PNG Maritime College will be the host venue as it has facilities that are purpose built for activities involved in the Challenge and allow for modifications that make competition unpredictable.

Executive Director of the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Dr. Albert Mellam said the Challenge which started in 2011 by MRA aims to improve the capabilities of the resource industry’s emergency response personnel to respond efficiently and effectively in emergency situations.

“This competition continues the process commenced a few years ago by MRA,” Dr. Mellam said.

“Extractive Industry projects have “Zero harm” objective and apply hierarchy of control and safety management systems to risk management. If an accident or incident occurs, they have well-equipped and trained emergency response teams to minimise damage to people, property and environment.”

“As such, an integral part of developing and maintaining competent emergency response resources is to compete with other projects so that teams can be exposed to new methods and equipment thus improve skills across the industry and addresses knowledge gaps ,” he added.

The Challenge will test the teams by putting them through real-life simulation scenarios where they will compete in areas of fire-fighting, rope rescue, multi-casualty, hazmat, endurance and confined space search and rescue.

The Challenge will also demonstrate to the broader community and Government the industry’s commitment to safety while also providing a platform for benchmarking against industry standards.


This year’s Challenge is being supported by Oil Search Limited, Kumul Petroleum Holdings, International SOS, PNG Mining and Petroleum Hospitality Services Ltd, West Rescue, Fire Rescue Safety Australia and Scott Safety.