La Mancha dismisses Frog’s Leg safety claims

La Mancha Resources have dismissed the claims of its joint venture partner that the Frog’s Leg mine is unsafe.

It comes after Alacer chief executive Ed Dowling criticised the mine operator La Mancha Resources at the Diggers and Dealers conference.

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.

However, La Mancha hit back, stating that Dowling’s claims are baseless and welcomed safety inspectors “to confirm what we already know, that the mine is safe,” according to The West.

La Mancha Australia general manager Rod Johns said the claims came as a complete surprise.

"We’ve never had any indication (before now) from our joint venture partners or anyone that we run unsafe operations," he told WestBusiness.

"We can see no factual basis for any of these claims.

"In fact, the actual development rate (at Frog’s Leg) is less than what was initially proposed. We don’t understand where these concerns are coming from."

He went on to say that mine safety inspectors have made around 12 visits over the past year.

“We’re positive that they’re going to find nothing, no inherent safety concerns with the operation as they’ve not done before," he said.

Inspectors from the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum will began an investigation this week.

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