12:10 pm, Tuesday 13 April, 2010
The death of a mine worker on Sunday has prompted Mines Minister Norman Moore to meet with the executives of the mine company to deal with its safety problems at its operations in Western Australia’s Goldfields.
A 45-year-old driver died after the underground truck he was operating fell 18 metres into a hole at the nickel mine in Leinster on Sunday morning.
Work in the mine has been stopped pending an investigation into the incident.
Last year, the mine was briefly shut down after three employees were confined underground in two separate rockfall incidents. A prohibition notice was issued, preventing the company from continuing operations until a safety audit by an independent investigator had been made.
Mr Moore is dismayed by the Sunday incident since the company previously pledged to improve safety at the mine.
The president of the company’s nickel division said all efforts were made to try to save the worker.
“The on-site emergency response teams were immediately activated and went to the site and evaluated the situation,” he said.
“Unfortunately it was not easy access to the individual, it was quite challenging.”
The executive said the man, had been working at the Leinster mine intermittently for the past eight years, had extensive experience.
“The fellow that was fatally injured had been at the site for a little over two years,” he said.
“I understand he had actually been at the site previously for a number of years and had gone to other operations.
“[He was] generally a good worker who is going to be missed by all.”
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