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Al Jazeera Correspondent
Laurence Golborne: 'We have improved'
Chile's mining minister explains what has been done to improve mining safety and why it is not enough.
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2011 14:43

One year ago the world was gripped by the drama of 33 Chilean miners trapped in the shaft of a collapsed copper mine in the Atacama Desert. After more than two months underground all 33 miners were rescued.


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The incident triggered a commitment from the president that such an accident would never happen again, but some experts claim that the Chilean government has done little to improve mining safety in the country in the year since.

In an exclusive interview, Laurence Golborne, Chile's minister of mining, acknowledges that much more needs to be done to improve safety conditions in the country's copper mines.

He tells Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman: "To avoid accidents in the mining sector, the most important thing is the culture of safety and that is something you don't build in two or three months ...

"This is not a matter of putting a policeman on the street to try to prevent traffic accidents. You can't do that if you don't have a real conscience in this society that you have to drive your car in a careful way. So we have to combine two issues - controlling the mining activities and also teaching and changing the culture for a safer way to do our jobs."

 

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