The Australian mining industry has suffered its first fatality of the year, after only 20 days.
Yesterday Consolidated Minerals issued a release advising that a contractor had died on January 20 during exploration activities to the south of the Woodie Woodie manganese mine in the Pilbara.
Philip George Kitching, 62, was employed by contractor Rod Mitchell Transport and Exploration, and had been working to remove the belly plate of the bulldozer when it fell on him.
Emergency services from the minesite immediately attended the scene, 40 kilometres from site.
The Department of Minerals and Petroleum immediately sent two investigators to the site, and two more will travel today to investigate the incident, according to The West Australian.
DMP director Andrew Chaplyn said the man was a fitter involved in working on a bulldozer that was used to clear land for exploration drilling.
Consolidated Minerals managing director Paul Muller offered his condolences to all those who knew the deceased.
“This is a very sad occurrence and our thoughts go out to the family, friends and work mates of the person involved,” he said.