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Author Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Graigfawr

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 05/10/2011 21:40:20
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Big Pit Blaenafon is advertising for a qualified mine manager:
http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/jobs/ salary £39,393 - £44,082 p.a., closing date 24 October. I wonder how many qualified men below retirement age there are in the country these days?
IP: 2.100.51.44
Digit

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Joined: 29/07/2009
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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 05/10/2011 22:10:53
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You raise a good point. Some years ago Beamish Museum needed a deputy for their drift mine and had great difficulty finding one despite being in a mining area. The difficulties they encountered were such that it raised (at least in the press) the possibility that they would have to close the drift mine. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to fill this post and also if it is filled from the local area. The enforced retirement age went out of the window a couple of days ago, I wonder what the position is for new appointments?

--

If you keep your eyes open you may see something interesting. If you don't something interesting may find you.
IP: 81.178.3.180
Ty Gwyn

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 05/10/2011 23:52:19
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The Ex Manager of Unity Mine in Cwmgwrach for one. IP: 81.158.18.172
miner1985

Joined: 17/11/2007
Location: South Wales

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 06/10/2011 00:09:57
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Knew this was on the cards for a while. Not that many about these days apart from the one Ty Gwyn mentioned though not sure if he would be interested. IP: 86.186.215.95
derrickman

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 06/10/2011 07:07:04
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the dinosaurs at the Ministry will fight to the last to keep it a closed shop for ex-NCB men, you may be sure of that.



--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change .... oh, I don't know, I've still got a lamp like that.
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Graigfawr

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 06/10/2011 17:07:33
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derrickman wrote:

the dinosaurs at the Ministry will fight to the last to keep it a closed shop for ex-NCB men, you may be sure of that.



The online job description lists (excluding non-mining specific management skills) as essential the possession of a "1st class certificate of competency in mining engineering (manager's papers)" and as desirable "recent experience at an operatonal mine", a "first aid in mines certificate", a "gas and hearing certificate", and a "NEBOSH certificate or diploma".

Intriguingly there is no specific reference to coal mining, just to "mining" - perhaps the museum is looking more broadly than "the Ministry"...
IP: 92.26.150.33
derrickman

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 06/10/2011 18:28:01
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"1st class certificate of competency" is specifically a coal-mining qualification. It could not be otherwise because that's what the law says.

--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change .... oh, I don't know, I've still got a lamp like that.
IP: 86.30.241.199
staffordshirechina

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 06/10/2011 19:31:17
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They are being a bit stingy on the salary.
When the NCM at Caphouse last advertised for a manager about 4 years ago, the pay was 46k to 52k.
Moneywise, it would not be an upward career move for a colliery manager.
IP: 92.6.190.192
derrickman

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 06/10/2011 20:31:21
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really, it is a retirement job for someone who is no longer interested in running a production mine but still fit for a job requiring experience, or has given up the idea of becoming a production manager and just wants a job.

We had a number of qualified deputies and under-managers at Combe Down, and at least one qualified manager, plus the mine manager proper who was over retirement age but showed no signs of retiring; so it may be that they will find one

--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change .... oh, I don't know, I've still got a lamp like that.
IP: 86.30.241.199
Buckhill

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 06/10/2011 20:53:47
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derrickman wrote:

"1st class certificate of competency" is specifically a coal-mining qualification. It could not be otherwise because that's what the law says.


There are 1st Class Certificates of Competency valid only in respect of mines of stratified ironstone, which is not as rigourous in its requirements, and strictly speaking the advert should stipulate that an all mines certificate is required. I know that one holder of a restricted certificate tried, some years ago, to appoint himself as manager of a coal mine but failed utterly to convince HMI that "My 1st Class certificate of Competency is every bit as good as yours". Roll Eyes
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Ty Gwyn

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 06/10/2011 21:40:03
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It depends on the size of the Mine and how it is run,

A Deputies papers are the lowest qualification to be aquired as a manager in a Smallmine,approved by HMI.
IP: 86.134.135.1
Buckhill

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 06/10/2011 23:35:13
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The "gentleman" referred to had no coal mining experience and was quite miffed to be told that he would need to spend at least 12 months at the face in order to gain a deputy's certificate - even more so when HMI advised that his junior partner, who was face trained and had the educational qualifications, could acquire the necessary certificate in a few weeks. He still couldn't grasp that an all mines deputy's ticket outranked his 1st Class!! IP: 217.43.41.64
derrickman

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 07/10/2011 06:37:43
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I think anyone applying for a post at a coal mining museum would probably work out for themselves, that they needed a coal mining ticket.

I had a similar experience regarding the Mine Surveyor certificate, I just gave it up as a waste of time. The syllabus is at least twenty years out of date, apart from anything else. Boulby is run much as a coal mine, because a lot of its management have historically come from the coal industry and it has various similarities such as gas and horizontal stata, but British Gypsum gave up using MQB qualifications as a benchmark of professional ability in the 90s and no-one else uses it at all.

Nonetheless the "men from the ministry" continue to insist that NOTHING but UK coal mining can possibly suffice; this includes overseas qualifications like SACM which are at least as good technically, and virtually identical having been derived from the same sources.

The situation is changing; MQB no longer have the ability to run their own exams, IoM3 do it for them, on the rare occasions when a candidate presents themselves. Camborne School of Mines has a study module which relates to RICS and I think that in time, the law will be changed to accept overseas qualifications.

But the last of the "we are the NCB and you cannot possibly know anything" die-hards will need to retire first



--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change .... oh, I don't know, I've still got a lamp like that.
IP: 86.30.241.199
Buckhill

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 07/10/2011 21:53:57
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I appreciate that there are some strange anomalies in the present system - for example why should an electrical or mechanical engineer, or surveyor, not be able to manage, at least, a small coal mine. After all, during a 4 year HNC/HND course, they have covered broadly much of the same subject matter as mining engineers and most will have spent a fair bit of time on coal faces. Yet they cannot run even a 2 man operation as the law stands, but a man with 18 months on the face can do a 3 month course to get a deputy's ticket and manage up to 12 u/g!

But, should there be any changes, I would hope that these also remedy the situation whereby miscellaneous mines can be managed by almost anyone. One person I knew took over such a mine, no experience at all, appointed himself manager despite admitting that he knew nothing about the job. After a year he declared that having learnt everything about it he was now in a position to teach others. Some of that teaching involved showing two young lads how to shift a lump of rock with a charge made up of 6 sticks of powergel in a carrier bag full of black powder - the whole wrapped with 10m of detonating cord "so that it gets plenty of heat into it". There were enough clowns who slipped into positions
with MQB tickets without letting the likes of this one loose. IP: 217.43.41.64
Ty Gwyn

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 07/10/2011 22:16:09
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Personally i wouldnt like to see a Surveyor become a Manager,on the fact he has been near a Coal Face,doing his job of measuring up etc.

Unless the rules have changed in the last few months,you needed 5yrs underground experience before you could do a Deputies course.

Out of interest,where do they use Black Powder today?
IP: 217.43.127.209
Mr.C

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 07/10/2011 23:00:06
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Ty Gwyn wrote:


Out of interest,where do they use Black Powder today?

Diamensional stone & slate apparently.
In Germany I'd guess, as the last lot I bought was made there!

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derrickman

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 08/10/2011 00:08:02
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This thread seems to be straying in a number of directions and a number of red herrings have been introduced. Perhaps a measure of clarification would be valuable.

Firstly, the Mine Surveyor ( so capitalised ) is a position specified under MASHAM and relates to the senior member of the surveying staff, whose key role is the maintenance of the overall survey of the workings and the periodic updating of the various drawings and records required by that legislation.

He may, depending upon the size and scope of the mine in question, be a working surveyor, an administrator and data processor from a surveying background, or anything in between. The individuals seen at the face projecting lines and similar functions may be subordinate members of the survey department called "linesmen".

The Mine Surveyor is a separate career path from the Mine Manager and does not become a Mine Manager in any normal circumstances.

Like all MQB qualifications, he is specifically required to have a minimum number of days working at the face of a UK coal mine and nowhere else. This specifically excludes individuals qualified under schemes such as the South African Chamber of Mines or its Australian equivalent.

The syllabus for the practical exam appeared to me, to have been written in the late 1970s and never updated.

MQB also exclude other management qualifications on the same basis.


I'd be curious to hear more regarding the blasting incident. It was, at one time, common practice in hard rock mines to split rocks ( usually on the grizzly ) using ad-hoc charges consisting of slices of a stick of blasting gel, typically moulded into place and ignited with a detonator or simply a hammer blow. These slices would be two or three times the thickness of a coin.

I haven't seen this done since the 1970s, and even then it was rare.


I haven't seen black powder used in a commercial mine, although I have seen it used for small controlled blasts such as splitting brickwork away from concrete during demolition. It is used in considerable quantities in firework manufacture and by enthusiast groups such as the Sealed Knot.

Whether it is still used for dimensional stone or slate, I have no knowledge


Black powder does not, in fact, explode when ignited in a loose condition ( this was demonstrated recently on the "Mythbusters" programme ) but produces a flash and lots of smoke. Nor does it require detonators, but is simply ignited using a fine-grain powder made for the purpose.


Six sticks of gel in an untamped, unconfined detonation would produce a great deal of noise and a considerable shock wave, but little effective rock-breaking force






--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change .... oh, I don't know, I've still got a lamp like that.
IP: 86.30.241.199
Ty Gwyn

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 08/10/2011 00:39:19
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derrickman wrote:










I'd be curious to hear more regarding the blasting incident. It was, at one time, common practice in hard rock mines to split rocks ( usually on the grizzly ) using ad-hoc charges consisting of slices of a stick of blasting gel, typically moulded into place and ignited with a detonator or simply a hammer blow. These slices would be two or three times the thickness of a coin.

I haven't seen this done since the 1970s, and even then it was rare.

This process was common in a lot of the Smallmines i worked in,a Splasher we called it,if a stone came down with the tophole,and was to big to manhandle,one would mark out a small hole in the stone with a Mandrel or the Puncher,and depending on the size of the stone,cut a piece of the Gel stick around an Inch,and press into small indentation,place in Det,and cover over with a good wad of Clay to seal,and place a good size stone on top,as charges sealed like this ,when fired,the force goes downwards.

I agree,6 sticks placed on top would make a deafening bang,raise a lot of dust,and ****** all else.



Black powder does not, in fact, explode when ignited in a loose condition ( this was demonstrated recently on the "Mythbusters" programme ) but produces a flash and lots of smoke. Nor does it require detonators, but is simply ignited using a fine-grain powder made for the purpose.

Fuses were used to ignite Black Powder when used in Coalmines,would imagine same in other mines and quarries.






IP: 217.43.127.209 Edited: 08/10/2011 00:40:35 by Ty Gwyn
derrickman

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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 08/10/2011 07:08:59
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I've never seen black powder used in a commercial mine so I don't know how it would have been ignited. Orwell refers to "blasting powder" in "Down The Mine" ( describing events set in 1935-7 ) http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0300011h.html#part5 but whether he actually means powder as opposed to blasting gel isn't clear, he certainly describes electric initiation.

Description here http://www.greatnorthroad.org/bboard/message.php?id=5205 of using det cord and cheesa sticks in South Africa in the 1960s. Wilbur Smith describes the same process in "Gold Mine" which is based on details observed in the 1960s.

When I got to Cornwall in the early 1970s initiation was electric, I would think it became the norm along with the general re-opening of Cornish mines in the early-to-mid 1960s but I wouldn't be 100% on that.


Returning to appointment of Mine Managers in miscellaneous mines, although there are few specific requirements under MASHAM or the previous M&Q legislation, most mines would be worked by groups such as British Gypsum, British Steel or ARC with internal training schemes based on NCB practice where relevant. A lot of management would be drawn from the general pool of NCB-trained personnel, along with a lot of the staff at contractors.

The Cornish mines were probably the main exception to that, with practices drawn from South African and Canadian experience and management who were mostly CSM or RSM graduates.

Apart from anything else, the Mine Manager would be subject to HMIM approval.



--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change .... oh, I don't know, I've still got a lamp like that.
IP: 86.30.241.199
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Big Pit Blaenafon: mine manager post advertised
Posted: 08/10/2011 16:54:08
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When I was a mining student in the 1970's, the mechanical and electrical boys were only with us until the end of OND.
After that they went to do their own HND or HNC depending on the strength of their OND marks.
I don't know how much mining stuff they did but our HND certainly had loads of electrical and mechanical!
I doubt they did the pure mining stuff like ventilation, explosives, etc though.
Like surveyors, electrical and mechanical engineers would know a lot about mining overall but each fullfils a specialist role.
Likewise, a Manager is not qualified to do their jobs.
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