“Let me give you one number that illustrates the magnitude of this contribution,” the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, said in presenting the agency’s highest award, the Agricola Medal, to Mr. Wen at a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, attended by 150 senior Government officials, representatives of Chinese farmers and academia. “The number of poor in the world fell from 2.3 billion in 1990 to 1.5 billion in 2008, a reduction of 34.1 per cent. A world without China would have progressed much more slowly, with a reduction of only about 11 per cent of the number of poor over the same period,” he added, calling the award a tribute to Mr. Wen’s life-long dedication to promoting food security and poverty reduction in China and the world. The premier stressed that without modernizing China’s agricultural and rural societies there would be no modernization of the national economy as a whole, noting that the country has had a ninth consecutive increase of crop production and that the latest grain harvest was 150 millions tonnes larger than in 2003. He said these achievements not only contribute to social and economic development and improving people’s lives in China but also a significant contribution to international food security – a view echoed by Mr. Graziano da Silva, who underlined the global impact of China’s efforts to feed its own people and end extreme poverty. This is the second time the FAO has given the Agricola Medal to a Chinese statesman. The first time was to President Jiang Zemin in 1998. Previous recipients of the Agricola Medal include King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, French President Jacques Chirac, Pope John Paul II, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Johannes Rau of Germany. During his visit to Beijing, Mr. Graziano da Silva also signed an agreement laying out terms for joint actions and projects over a five-year period to bolster joint efforts to defeat hunger, increase agricultural production and improve rural livelihoods. According to FAO, China has already established a $30 million trust fund under the FAO South-South Cooperation framework, and has placed more than 900 Chinese experts in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the South Pacific to work closely with farmers, extension workers and local institutions for at least two years to introduce advanced farming techniques. The programme will expand under the terms of the agreement signed today.
MineARC Systems latest model range of refuge chambers for the hard rock mine (HRM) industry is the HRM Series IV; “featuring the very latest in safe-refuge technology,” says Mike Lincoln, MineARC General Manager. The MineARC HRM range is now embedded worldwide; deployed in over 100 operations, in over 40 countries, on six continents. The HRM Series IV builds on the success of the Series III. It’s now even safer, it’s smarter, and it’s easier to maintain and service. We’ve also included a number of structural modifications that make it easier to position onsite.” A major upgrade is the new Series IV CO/CO2 (carbon monoxide/carbon dioxide) scrubbing system. Gone are often cumbersome ‘free-pour’ chemicals – the Series IV now uses pre-packaged chemical canisters that are easy to load and handle, and store for long periods.“The prepackaged chemical canisters are already widely recognised and accepted within the industry. The popular MineARC HRM-ELVP (extra-low-voltage-portable) range of refuge chambers already uses the canister system,” says Lincoln. Another unique feature of the Series IV is the Intelligent Voice Audio Navigation system (iVAN). The iVAN system is the onboard guide that ‘talks’ occupants through the operating procedures and alerts at important regular intervals that require action, such as scrubber chemical change outs and gas-level recordings. iVAN can be programmed to speak in any language.Lincoln: “With the HRM Series IV we feel we’ve taken emergency refuge to the next level. The self diagnostic capabilities, the new digital controller interface and the simplicity of the new scrubbing system are key to this”As with all its HRM chambers the Series IV was designed and refined in co-operation with some of the world’s leading mining companies, and complies in full with the 2009 West Australian Dept of Mines & Petroleum Guideline: Refuge Chambers in Metalliferous Mines.The New Series IV HRM is available in both standard and custom-engineered models. The standard model range includes 8, 12, 16, 22, 26 and 32 person models. Lincoln: “The Series IV HRM had its ‘pre-launches’ at MINExpo in Las Vegas and at GME in Kalgoorlie in September/October 2012. Since then the response from industry has been very encouraging and we’ve already received a number of pre-orders both from Australia and internationally.” Key features of the new MineARC Series IV HRM refuge chamber include: Advanced digital controller interface with full chamber diagnostics capability12 hours self maintenance function including battery, scrubber and inverterFull remote systems monitoring, including live internal video streamInternal LCD monitor displays, USB port, PC docking stations and Ethernet connectivityAdvanced CO/CO2 scrubbing system with increased scrubbing/air flow capacityEasy to load pre-packaged scrubber chemical canisters (not free-pour)iVAN (Intelligent Voice Audio Navigation)‘Talks’ occupants through operating proceduresAlerts at regular intervals requiring actionAvailable in any languageBattery back-up (UPS) now upgradable to 96 hoursSeparate battery ‘string’ monitoring to pinpoint potential failures caused by surge/drainageImproved structural integrity and transport featuresImproved rear chamber housing providing added protection for air-conditioning unit, transformer and air filter kitRear escape hatch with internal and external accessImproved lifting lugs, skid-base and front end loader featuresBlast resistant optional to 15 PSI.