News

Toolbox talks: Improving the safety of employees

01/12/2023

In October 2022, Norge Mining and its operations arm Norge Mineraler AS were each awarded ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification. This ISO accreditation recognises the robust quality control systems that consistently deliver the very highest standards of safety and environmental management across all our operations. At every site, every day, we are committed to achieving ‘zero harm’ for employees, contractors, suppliers and visitors – no mean feat considering the inherently challenging and complex nature of the mining industry.

Safety: not a box to be ticked…

Norge Mining’s accreditation to this globally recognised quality standard assures all our commercial partners that the safety procedures in place across our business are both effective and extensive. At the core of all ISO standards is the principle of continuous improvement – something that Norge Mining has demonstrated time and time again. Crucially, our relentless commitment to safety runs through everything we do.

“It’s one thing to sit at a desk and say we have all these procedures as per our ISO certification standards, but it’s critical that they function well at site level to have the desired effect.” Matthew Durdin-Robertson, Training, Safety and Security Manager at Energold, Norge Mining’s drilling contractor

Maximum focus on zero harm

Our single-minded focus on zero harm is achieved through a wide range of safety procedures and policies encompassing a number of key areas:

  • Reporting. Weekly progress reports are submitted by our drilling contractor, Energold. Our record of zero Lost Time Injuries (LTIs) is due in no small part to the culture of openness we have fostered together for near-miss reporting. If things were to go wrong we would learn from them, to further optimise our approach
  • Proactive contractor management, oversight and supervision
  • Daily site safety reviews. Each shift begins with a rig inspection and a comprehensive checklist to complete. Then comes the ‘toolbox talk’ where specific operational details are covered – reviewing any requested operational changes, environmental conditions, rig running issues and Standard Operating Procedures
  • Weekly safety meetings capture and implement any required improvements
  • Between November 2022 and March 2023 we undertook an extensive training program to foster sustainability and promote knowledge-sharing within the organisation. From introductory courses to specialised sessions, participants gained a comprehensive understanding of water sampling techniques, efficient mining practices, and the significance of health and safety and ESG principles
  • Seamless IT support and security, safeguarding Norge Mining’s digital assets and protecting against potential cybersecurity threats
  • Education. We collaborate extensively with all our partners in order to establish a regional mining know-how cluster. Partners include the Geo Internship Project and Norway’s National Geological Survey

Complex and extensive operations

At Norge Mining we’re extremely proud of our record of zero harm across the 61 sites we hold licenses for, each operating under challenging and ever-shifting environmental conditions. Our responsible extraction of strategically important minerals – phosphate, vanadium and titanium – is significant, currently extending across 520km2 of southwestern Norway. The mineral fields we manage represent a diversified, secure and stable supply of minerals within Europe, reducing reliance on vulnerable current supply chains and minimising the environmental impact of transportation.

We’re acutely aware that the importance of these EU Critical Raw Materials will only increase, thanks to their role in the security of food supply and the green energy transition. But their extraction must be undertaken responsibly, sustainably and safely. That’s why at Norge Mining we will always be committed to ensuring that everything we do is carried out under stringent quality controls and ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 compliance.