The West Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum is investigating allegations that safety has been compromised at an Eastern Goldfields mine.
DMP safety division executive director Malcolm Russell said allegations over the safety operations at the Frog’s leg gold mine.
It comes after Alacer chief executive Ed Dowling criticised the mine operator La Mancha Resources at the Diggers and Dealers conference, WAToday reports.
Dowling said the development work of the mine is running too far ahead of actual mining, creating serious ground stresses.
“The worst outcome is that you get a sill failure, you lose some ore, you get a cut-off and you lose equipment – or people. Those risks are increasing,” He told the conference.
”I don’t want to beat up here on the guys at Kalgoorlie that work at Frog’s Leg. The guys here at the site, they are working hard. But they are kind of having their hands tied by [La Mancha’s head office].
”And that is really dangerous in our world. You can think of other resource companies where there have been flippant responses to the needs of operations and you have ended up with catastrophic failures.”
While Dowling said the mine should not be closed immediately, safety inspectors should have a look at the mine.
‘I don’t want to start a fist fight, but they [La Mancha] are getting a little too far ahead [in mine development],” he said.
Russell said “the resources safety division [of the DMP] will investigate the allegations made by Alacer CEO Edward Dowling as a matter of absolute priority”.
“We will take all necessary steps to ensure that the operators are fully meeting their legal obligations regarding the safety of the mine and its workers.
“Following a thorough investigation of the operations the department will take whatever actions are deemed necessary.”