Big Bell operations suspended following accident

Cue gold operations include the Big Bell mine and the Great Fingall mine. Image: Westgold Resources

Westgold Resources has been left devastated by an accident at the company’s Big Bell gold mine in Western Australia.

The company’s emergency response team attended the scene after a worker was struck by a mobile plant, with the Royal Flying Doctor Service also called to the mine to transport the patient to Perth.

Tragically, the worker passed away during transit.

The Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, plus others are investigating the accident.

Operations at Big Bell have been temporarily suspended and will remain so until further notice.

The company will remain in a trading halt for 48 hours from Tuesday, while the investigation continues, pending further announcement regarding operations at the site.

Westgold executive chairman Peter Cook said the company is providing support to the family of the worker and the Big Bell team.

“This devastating news has shaken all of us at Westgold to our core,” Cook said.

“Our hearts go out to the family of our employee as well as her colleagues. We will be extending all the support required to her families and her colleagues at this difficult time.

“The safety and wellbeing of our people is a priority to us, which is why we will ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted into this tragic incident.”

Westgold will provide the market with further updates on the accident and the investigation when appropriate.

The company only restarted operations at Big Bell in March this year, recommencing underground sub-level cave stoping after the mine had been idle since it was flooded in 2003.

Prior to operations ceasing, it was one of the largest single mine gold producers in the Australian gold sector.

The company intends to ramp up operations at Big Bell, which measured mineral resource of more than 226,000 ounces of gold at a grade of 3.48 grams per tonne, including building a new accommodation village at the site.

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