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Montevideo, December 17th 2018 - 20:24 UTC

Falklands' mine clearance progresses steadily: 82 fields still to be neutralized

Friday, November 25th 2016 - 07:20 UTC
Full article 8 comments
The mine fields are clearly fenced with warning signs, some of them very close to Stanley The mine fields are clearly fenced with warning signs, some of them very close to Stanley
Program Manager Guy Marot explains the de-mining procedure Program Manager Guy Marot explains the de-mining procedure
De-mining experts doing their highly risky job with the protection equipment De-mining experts doing their highly risky job with the protection equipment
An Argentine minefield record, which have been used to help with current activities An Argentine minefield record, which have been used to help with current activities

Minefield clearance in the Falklands is going well on the current phase which will run until June 2017, Dynasafe Bactec Ltd. Program manager Guy Marot confirmed this week to Penguin News. Work to date has involved technical survey and clearance work in the Eliza Cove area (south east Stanley) and Goose Green, and is scheduled to continue after Christmas in the Mount Longdon and Hearndon Waters (Murrell) minefields, and Port Howard on West Falklands.

 106 de-miners and support workers make up the team who occupy several houses in Stanley as well as the Millers Hotel building on John Street. Work to date has involved technical survey and clearance work in the Eliza Cove area and it is expected that everything will be cleared to the West fairly soon.

Marot said that four of the mine fields to the East of Eliza Cove had been actively cleared but a fifth would involve a complex search process.

“There are two little panels of mines inside that one somewhere,” he said, adding that in the meantime clearance would continue to the East.

Technical survey work is also ongoing at Goose Green which is expected to last until Christmas time.
Goose Green was almost cleared by military EOD teams after the 1982 war, which makes the remaining work more complex.

“Proving a negative is never easy,” said Marot.

After Christmas the Mount Longdon and Hearndon Waters (Murrell) minefields will be addressed and a further team will head out to Port Howard on West Falklands.

Program manager Marot said there were significant logistical challenges in terms of safety and life support systems in the future, working out the clearances on West Falklands and in the Murrell area just outside Stanley after the technical survey work provided no records.

Formerly Bactec International, the company which has worked on EOD projects in 41 countries has been working since 2009 to remove the estimated 20,000 antipersonnel and 5,000 anti-vehicle mines left by Argentine forces in 1982.

At the end of phase four in February this year the original 146 minefields had been reduced to 82.

The project is funded through the UK Foreign Office, and in response to the UK’s obligation to remove mines in their territories under the terms of the Ottawa Treat)y. (PN)

Top Comments

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  • Jo Bloggs

    There you go Voicey. Don't forget to add this to your list of things the U.K. Government wastes your hard-earned tax money on.

    It makes you wonder how much Argentina actually wanted the Islands if they laid 20,000 land mines on them. Just saying...

    Nov 25th, 2016 - 08:38 am +4
  • Marti Llazo

    There were media reports that some of the islanders did not much mind certain of the minefields but those were personal and not community reflections. And not of that matters because of the remaining joint obligation that the mines be removed in order to meet international treaty requirements. The mine layers or rather Argentina of course have provided precious little except some grid maps of a few of the minefields. A lot of the mapping for the minefields was lost during the collapse at the end of the conflict, which was anything but orderly. For public relations some of the mine grids were characterised as somewhat accurate, but the EOD folks doing the work have other rather better informed opinions that may not be quite so politically correct. And some of the supposedly detailed gridded mine maps, while at first glance seemingly useful, turned out to be nearly worthless since they could not be correlated to reliable geographic locations.

    At least two dead buried Argentines from the conflict were found by the EOD clearance people during their work. There may have been others but I am only aware of two.

    Nov 25th, 2016 - 08:35 pm +3
  • DemonTree

    @ Brasherboot
    Because that would be a war crime.

    Nov 25th, 2016 - 12:27 pm 0
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