Prominent Hill operations resume after incident


Prominent Hill mine in South Australia. Image: OZ Minerals

Operations at the Prominent Hill mine in South Australia are resuming progressively following suspension on Sunday afternoon due to the fatal injury of a Byrnecut employee working underground.

The OZ Minerals mine is located about 650 kilometres north-west of Adelaide and 130 kilometres south-east of Coober Pedy.

The copper and gold operation includes both an open pit and an underground mine.

According to a statement from OZ Minerals, staggered resumption of surface operations began on Monday afternoon and, following discussions with crews, underground operations are progressively resuming.

The South Australian Department of Energy and Mining and SafeWork SA approved resumption of operations on Monday morning.

OZ Minerals and Byrnecut are providing support to the family of the deceased and offering employee assistance support for the workforce across all sites.

“Byrnecut and OZ Minerals express our deepest sympathies to the worker’s family,” OZ Minerals managing director and chief executive officer Andrew Cole said.

“This incident has had a profound impact on our workforce and our priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone at site.”

The incident is being investigated by the South Australian Police and Safework SA.

OZ Minerals and Byrnecut are assisting with the investigations.

According to a statement from South Australia Police, at about 3.25pm on Sunday, emergency services were called to the mining area after a 43-year-old man was injured by machinery and died at the scene.

Local detectives and patrol officers, along with forensic investigators, attended the scene and a report will be prepared for the State Coroner.

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive officer Tania Constable said the organisation is deeply saddened by the incident.

“We send our condolences to the family, friends, emergency responders and colleagues of the deceased,” she said.

“The minerals industry is committed to, and working hard on, eliminating fatalities, injuries and occupational illnesses, with a strong focus on building and sustaining respectful workplaces.”

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