Koolan Island workers stood down

With a huge damming and dewatering operation to tackle before recommencing operations at Koolan Island, Mount Gibson Iron have stood down around 200 workers.

The main pit of the Koolan Island hematite operation was flooded last week, after pit wall instability combined with high tide on Tuesday night caused a section of the wall to collapse.

The majority of the on-site workforce were demobilised over the weekend, and engineering and technical assessments are underway.

Workers have been told to take paid or unpaid leave from Sunday onward.

According to mine owner Mount Gibson Iron, no personnel were at risk and all activity in the pit was suspended, along with all non-essential activities on the island.

Mining operations ceased in late October, with repairs underway since then.

Mount Gibson has also been in a trading halt since October, and is under voluntary suspension pending the release of a detailed update by Friday 5 December.

Mount Gibson is expected to adjust its full year production forecast and give an estimate of the cost of repairs to recommence operations.

However, if no further details can be released Mount Gibson will apply to extend the suspension, the company said.

Mount Gibson’s shares are suspended at 41c.

Prior to suspension of operations Koolan Island was ramping up production to four million tonnes per year.

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