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Pike River Case Essay

3100 words - 13 pages

PIKE RIVER COAL MINE: THE DISASTER

REPORT ON FAILURE OF THE PROJECT

Prepared By:
Atul Srivastava
Stu ID- 14854045

05 Oct 2015

Table of Contents
Executive Summery …………………………………………………………………………
1. Introduction …………………………………………………………………………
2. Methodology …………………………………………………………………………
2.1 Factors contributed to project failure …………………………………………
2.2 Failure of theories behind Pike tragedy ………………………………………
3. Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………
References

Executive Summery
 Pike river coal mine was operated by Pike River Coal 46 km (29 mi) north-east of Greymouth in the West Coast Region of New Zealand's South Island.   Pike River Coal Company Ltd (Pike) was formed ...view middle of the document...

Eventually the rescue mission was also not a success as the operation was suffered from an absence of advance planning for a coal mine emergency and from a failure to properly implement the principles of the New Zealand co-ordinated incident management system (CIMS). (Royal Commission, 2010)

INTRODUCTION
The geology of the Pike River coalfield is complex. It is situated in a remote location on the eastern side of the Paparoa Range, about 45km north-east of Greymouth. The coalfield lies under conservation land, and partially under the Paparoa National Park.
Pike River contains one of New Zealand's largest deposits of hard coking coal. It has a low ash and phosphorus content, which gives it a competitive advantage over other coking coals. On Friday 19 November 2010 at 3:45 pm there was an underground explosion at the Pike River coal mine. Twenty-nine men lost their lives, and their bodies have not been recovered. The immediate cause of the tragedy was a large methane explosion (Pike River Mine Disaster, n.d.).
This was a process safety accident, being an unintended escape of methane followed by an explosion in the mine. It occurred during a drive to achieve coal production in a mine with leadership, operational systems and cultural problems
This report put emphasis on the various factors contributing towards the failure of the project and how this accident could have been avoided if properly handled, managed and operated.

FACTORS BEHIND THE FAILURE
POOR PLANNING: Pike River Coal mine was suffered by lack of proper planning from the very beginning of this project. Pike’s knowledge of the geology and the extent and location of the coal seam was based on an initial 14-borehole exploration programme, supplemented by a similar number of boreholes drilled subsequently. These provided insufficient geological information, which led to adverse unexpected ground conditions hindering mine development. Planning begins with the determination of objectives and directed towards their achievement. It keeps the executive alive and alert. Managers have to review the progress periodically and recast their strategies to meet the objectives (Business Management, 2015).
But at Pike, Management failed to formulate the alternative plans, like they could have done more borehole exploration so that deep study of the ground can be done. In spite of aware of the presence of methane beneath the ground, methane management was not enforced adequately. (Royal Commission, 2010)
For instance, the access tunnel took twice as long to complete and cost twice as much as expected, so the company was constantly running behind its over-optimistic targets and asking investors for more money. They failed to plan for contingency and crises.
UNSKILLED WORK-FORCE AND TRAINING: In an interview to Sunday Star Times, Neville Rockhouse who was the Security Manager of the mine stated that 40 to 50% of workers at Pike were working in their first underground mine (Reid,...

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