Tropicana mine death linked to alcohol fuelled fight

The death of an off-shift worker, who was mistakenly said to have died in his sleep at the Tropicana camp on May 19, has been linked to a drunken brawl.

Last month Australian Mining referred to a West Australian article
which suggested the worker had died in his sleep, however an exclusive report
from the newspaper this morning has suggested otherwise.

It was been revealed this morning that the man died after being punched during a late night argument at the Tropicana camp.

The victim fell and hit his head and died at the scene.

The victim’s body was found near tennis courts in the camp.

Both men involved in the fight were employees of the contractor MacMahon Holdings,
and were also believed to be friends.

Police investigations have been underway to determine the
exact circumstances of the incident, with intent to lay charges.

It is understood that intent to lay charges over the fight
have now been dropped, as a 29 year-old man, believed to have thrown the punch on May 19, was
found dead last Friday after a missing persons report for him was filed on
Wednesday.

A worker from the Tropicana mine has told the West Australian that the fight occurred during
an extended break between shifts, a time during which some workers at the Tropicana
site take advantage of the opportunity to binge drink without risk of breath
analysis the next day.

“You have 24 hours before you have to blow in the bag, so if
you want to you can get smashed,” the worker said.

Wet mess rules at the Tropicana camp allow workers take away
four open cans of mid-strength beer before 7:30pm, and can buy two cans at a
time for consumption within the bar area until 8:30pm on a shift-change night.

A spokesperson for the Department of Mines and Petroleum said
that the department is waiting for the coroner’s report before it determines
whether the matter requires any further scrutiny as far as site policy is
concerned.

Mine operator AngloGold Ashanti provided Australian Mining with the following
statement this morning: “Regretfully we can confirm that a Macmahon Holdings
employee recently passed away at Tropicana whilst off duty. Counsellors were
flown to site and have continued to support employees. Mining operations were
shut down the morning after the employee passed away. This is matter that is
under police investigation and it is therefore inappropriate for us to comment
further.”

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