Earthquake halts operations at Victorian gold mine

White Rock Minerals has suspended underground operations at its Woods Point gold project after an earthquake struck near Mansfield in Victoria.

Located 60 kilometres south of the estimated epicentre, the Woods Point operation reported significant shaking on site at the time of the earthquake.

Nine workers were underground at the time and all personnel are safe, accounted for and are now all back on the surface.

White Rock reported no immediate damage on site at Woods Point and the company is currently following emergency response protocols.

The company has also devised an inspection plan for site and underground infrastructure.

White Rock stated there is no plan to immediately return to underground activities until the aftershocks have subsided.

The company will also wait until the site integrity has been consolidated and inspections have confirmed no damage.

The earthquake struck at 9:15am AEST this morning, occurring 10 kilometres beneath the surface at a magnitude of 5.9, according to Geoscience Australia.

It is understood the tremor was felt across Victoria, in Canberra and in parts of New South Wales.

A spokesperson for the Minerals Council of Australia said no damage or injuries had been reported at Victorian mines in the wake of the earthquake.

Other mines in the area include Morning Star mine, located within the Walhalla to Woods Point goldfield, and the A1 mine about 23 kilometres south-east of Jamieson.

Morning Star is operated by AuStar, which was acquired by White Rock in February this year, while A1 is operated by junior gold producer Centennial Mining, which was acquired by Kaiser Reef in January this year.

According to a company statement, Kaiser reported no injuries at its A1 mine after the successful evacuation of 11 underground workers at the site.

“We are very pleased to report no injuries and no immediately identified damage to the mine or its associated infrastructure,” the company stated.

“Kaiser has established emergency response protocols which management are following.

“A detail inspection plan for site and underground is being planned and, at this stage, there does not appear to be a significant operational impact.”

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