Mining equipment monitoring is key to regulating equipment usage and preventing the sorts of tragedies that stem from a lack of proper maintenance awareness.

Mining accidents can lead to terrible tragedies, which is one the most important reasons that organizations must utilize equipment condition monitoring strategies to make sure all of their machinery is running smoothly. Doing so can prevent awful incidents and mining collapses before they start. The attention of the global mining industry was recently turned toward the Central African Republic, where the reported death toll from the collapse of a gold mine in Ndassima has risen to 62 as of June 28, according to Channel NewsAsia. Some of the victims have been extricated from the mine, but other bodies remain trapped and inaccessible below the surface. It is one of the worst mining tragedies in recent memory.

According to the president's office in Banqui, the national capital, heavy rains brought about the collapse. Maintaining mining infrastructure is crucial to preventing accidents because mining environments are volatile and often uniquely affected by weather-related events. The dangers are exacerbated because of the difficulty of rescuing workers trapped by a collapsed mine. Preventative maintenance is imperative to stopping mining tragedies, and without the necessary precautions and equipment monitoring systems, mining operations are placing themselves at a serious risk.

Lack of regulation cited
The gold mine had previously been under the control of Canadian company AXMIN as part of their Passendro Gold Project. However, the company had to abandon their efforts and direct control in December of 2012. In a statement on their website, AXMIN stated that it had to declare a Force Majeure with the state of CAR because of the unstable political conditions in the country and the threat of violence from rebel forces. Since then, artisanal miners had been illegally using the mine. Artisanal mining, especially in mines designed for large, standardized operations, is particularly dangerous because these miners often do not abide by industry standards or exercise proper caution when it comes to handling equipment.

"The greatest risk to illegal artisanal mining activities is safety, where miners build tunnels and deep pits in unstable conditions," wrote AXMIN CEO George Roach on the company's website. "Following AXMIN's meeting in Banqui with representatives of the new transitional government, the state expressed its commitment to work with the company to ensure full access and a stable environment at its Passendro Gold Project as quickly as possible, thus allowing AXMIN to resume operations and properly secure the site."