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Chilean Copper Mine Collapse

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The audience is to be considered when using any type of communication method. The initiator also needs to know how to present the communication, whether it is face to face, email, or even an article of the news. Some other considerations to be given are the diverse mindset of those in the audience. We all have different perceptions of certain situations due to cultural diversity. In communication, knowing the types of communication styles is important. Having an open communication style can help soften the understanding of any type of miscommunication when diversity is an issue.

The potential needs of the families of the miners in receiving a message about the incident would be to gather all of the facts and presenting it to the family first before it being broadcast on the news. Chapter 9 in Communicating in the Workplace states details of the incident should often contain a timeline of the incident, description of the physical setting, description of the people involved and explanation of the results following the incident [ (Cheesebro, O’Connor, & Rios, 2010) ], in which none of the articles portray. The more information provided to the families, would allow the families to be at ease with the situation knowing that all the information provided is factual and not an answer of the undetermined. It would also ease their minds not to have to see it on TV before being told about it.

The potential needs of the company’s employees when receiving a message about the incident would be not only informative in regards to what is going on about the incident, but also provide any employee assistance aid or counseling for those who are emotionally affected by the incident. Once a successful message was provided to all the employees, any volunteers of assistance to the miners as far as food and water, and assistance to the family, if any, should be considered. Without proper communication cooperation with the employers themselves, employees, and family members, the audience which could be other employees or the general public, can only speculate about the incident and the processes are through incorrect media representation.

The actions I would take before and after the message is delivered to ensure that it was received as intended in regards to the mining accident is follow through with proper investigative techniques and ensure that the families are well aware of what is occurring with the investigation and the safely recovery of their loved one. I would also look into researching why the mine was reopened shortly after the same type of incident in 2007 and see where the liability lies for those miners that were trapped or for the families who lost family members because of the accident.

Communication effectively is important for many reasons. Mainly, it is important because it allows people to understand what’s going on in the world and in life itself. If the audience can understand effectively what is being communicated regardless of how it is being communicated, then the communication process would be a success and there won’t be any cause for confusion.

To the families of miners:
Re: Copper Mine Collapse
On August 5, 2010, a gold and copper mine located 50 miles from Copiapo collapsed trapping miners approximately 1,500 feet below. There are unconfirmed reports that approximately 30 miners were trapped and have taken refuge in an underground shelter where the emergency supplies are located. The emergency supplies consist of food, water and oxygen and should be sufficient for the miners for at least 72 hours. It is not immediately known of the condition of the mine and trapped miners, however, officials and rescuers are working effortlessly to supply access to the mine’s condition and locate the trapped miners. Once the mine is accessed and the trapped miners located, officials and rescuers hope to be able to provide additional food, water and oxygen to ensure a successful rescue. The cause of the accident has not yet been determined, however, President Sebastian Pinera of Chile promises a thorough investigation. The owner of the mine, Minera San Esteban Primera will be holding two news conferences in light of the incident in which they will address the media and the immediate families separately. Minera San Esteban Primera will also be offering the emotional and financial support to the immediate families affected from this tragic accident.

On August 5, 2010, a terrible and unfortunate accident occurred at one of our copper mines in San Jose, Chile. Unconfirmed reports state that approximately 34 miners were working at the mine, Copiapo, approximately 1,475ft from the surface when the rock above them collapsed. Officials and rescue aid workers have been notified and are working diligently to locate and save the trapped employees. As of now, there are no details about the health and well-being of the trapped miners, however, the rescue mission is trying to make way to locate the miners and provide them with additional supplies until they can be successfully rescued. This may take time because they do not want to produce an additional collapse that would put the rescuers at risk, or the miners in more danger.

Despite the recent inquiries regarding the safety practices and previous fatal accidents, we are still adhering to all the safety policies and procedures set forth by both FMC (Federation of Chilean Mining Workers) and the CTC (Confederation of Copper Workers), and we will continue to operate. As more develops through the rescue efforts and the investigation, updates will be readily available. A press conference will be set to address the media and preparations have been made to contact the immediate families. This is a delicate situation, not only to our employees, but to the immediate families and the community. We ask that if any calls are received from the media or family members of those trapped in the mine be directed to our communications department. Our thoughts and prayers to all the miners, families, rescue workers and employees of Miera San Estaban Primera.


Authur, N. (2010, August 6). Chile mine collapse trap miners. Retrieved from BBC News Latin America & Caribbean: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-10897327

Cheesebro, T., O’Connor, L., & Rios, F. (2010). Communicating in the workplace. Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Soto, A. (2010, August 6). Chile mine collapse leaves around30 trapped. Retrieved from Reuters Edition: http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/08/06/us-chile-mine-accident-idUSTRE6750FS20100806

Weik, J. (2010). Over 30 Workers Trapped after Chilean copper mine collapse. Metal Bulletin Daily, Issue 224, p. 65-65, 1p.

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