Saracen Mineral Holdings will resume processing operations at the Carosue Dam gold operations in Western Australia today, with underground and open pit activities to follow imminently.
The decision follows an accident that occurred at the Dervish gold mine in the early hours of Monday morning involving a contract worker, who sadly passed away.
Saracen confirmed the accident on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) yesterday morning, stating that the worker “fell from a height”.
Operations were suspended at Carosue Dam operations, including the Dervish mine immediately after the accident. Saracen then implemented a return-to-work plan under stringent safety measures.
The company also entered into a trading halt on the ASX, which will lift today as operations resume.
Saracen is still reviewing principal hazards and controls at the site and conducting workplace audits and inspections to ensure all operations can safely resume in the coming days.
The gold miner is also working alongside the Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) on a full investigation into the accident.
Saracen managing director Raleigh Finlayson expressed sympathy to the worker’s family, friends and colleagues on behalf of the company.
“This is an extremely tragic accident and all our thoughts are with the family at this very difficult time,” Finlayson said. “The health and safety of our people is always our first priority.
“Saracen is currently working closely with the Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) on the continuing investigation, while working with our contract partners to ensure full support is provided to the family and all Saracen employees and contractors.”
DMIRS was alerted and sent representatives to the site, which is 164 kilometres south of Laverton, to launch the full investigation into the incident, which is ongoing.
Saracen has also confirmed that its other operations, including the Thunderbox mine and Super Pit, also in Western Australia were operating as normal and its 2021 financial year guidance remains unchanged.
Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) chief executive officer Tania Constable commented on the accident, reaffirming the MCA’s commitment to freeing the industry of future fatal accidents.
“Our thoughts go to the families and friends of the worker, the worker’s colleagues and the members of the site’s emergency response team who have the harrowing task of recovering the worker,” Constable said.
“The Australian minerals industry’s priority is the safety and health of its workforce. The MCA will continue to assist the commitment of its members and that of the broader industry to an industry free of fatalities, injuries and industrial diseases.”