Contractor killed at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek mine

A worker has been killed overnight at Fortescue Metals Group’s Christmas Creek operation in Western Australia.

Mining and processing operations at the site were suspended overnight.

The fatality which occurred at about 8pm WST on Wednesday, is the first mine site death in WA since August 2011.

The deceased is believed to be in his 20s and according to Radio 6PR the man either fell or was crushed by machinery.

Although Fortescue has not commented on the cause of death.

WA Department of Mines and Petroleum resource safety inspectors will launch a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Fortescue said it will assist in the investigation into the incident.

Operations director David Woodall said the company is "deeply saddened".

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the worker's loved ones at this time,'' Woodall said in an ASX statement.

Fortescue said the miner’s family has been notified and is offering chaplaincy and counselling services to the man's family and colleagues.

In February the Western Australian mining industry celebrated its first death free year in more than a century.

Former WA mines minister Norman Moore said at the time the achievement was due to massive industry wide efforts and government reforms.

Despite achieving the milestone, Moore warned against the industry taking its eye off the ball.

"The mining industry is a dangerous business, and while you aim for that (zero fatalities) I never thought we would achieve it and I am absolutely over the moon that we have," Moore said.

"But you can never ever in this industry rest on your laurels and . . . you will only be able to keep it like that if everyone keeps their eyes on the ball and mines work on the basis that safety comes first."

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.