A worker has died at the Lightning Ridge underground opal mine in north west NSW after he was fatally hit by a steel bucket.
The incident happened on Friday and it is understood the worker was climbing out of the sub-floor level sump when he was struck and killed by a large steel bucket which was suspended in the shaft above him at the time, NSW Department of Industry reports.
The bucket was part of a vertical shaft hoist system used for moving mined material to the surface. The vertical shaft was nearly 12m deep.
The sump was designed to allow the steel bucket to be lowered into the floor to allow easier loading of the bucket.
Both police and the state Resources Regulator, Mine Safety, attended the scene.