Mining to restart at Nifty copper mine after cave-in

The Department of Mines and Petroleum has lifted a mining suspension at Aditya Birla's Nifty copper mine after a cave-in shut the operation in March. 

The cave-in saw mining at the underground site halted as Aditya worked with the department to ensure the mine was safe.

The incident also meant 400 workers were stood down on indefinite, unpaid leave. Last week 109 Nifty employees accepted voluntary redundancies.

In lifting the mining suspension, the DMP has ordered monthly updates on geotechnical monitoring and analysis, the proposed mining schedule and the progress of recommencement activities.

"The company is proceeding to complete the detailed stoping, development and production schedule for the mine to ensure an expedient recommencement of operations, whilst always ensuring the safety of its employees," Aditya Birla said in a statement.

"The company shall in due course provide a timing schedule for the gradual resumption of operations."

Workers who were laid off are looking to sue the mining company, claiming Aditya should be held responsible for the wall collapse as it was a foreseeable risk and as such, argue workers should be getting paid.

"There was cracking going on in the mine which was not normal," one worker told the ABC.

"The warning signs were there."

The worker said management was warned about the potential risks.

Workers hope to raise enough money to take their case to the Far Work Commission after the Australian Workers' Union was unsuccessful in its bid to argue the employee’s case at a conference in May. 

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