21/07/2021 - 14:32

Minterra fined $102k over mine incident

21/07/2021 - 14:32

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Westgold Resources subsidiary Minterra has been slapped with a $102,000 fine after an employee sustained serious injuries in a fall at its Starlight underground mine in 2018.

Minterra fined $102k over mine incident
The Perth Magistrate’s Court ordered Minterra to pay a $102,000 fine and $6,000 in legal costs. Image: Stock

Westgold Resources subsidiary Minterra has been slapped with a $102,000 fine after an employee at its Starlight underground mine was seriously injured when the work basket he was in fell 1.5 metres in 2018.

The Perth Magistrate’s Court was told the employee had been working in a basket attached to an integrated tool carrier at the mine on March 13, 2018, when the basket detached and fell to the ground.

It is understood the carrier had been manoeuvred several times before the basket fell. 

The worker was later airlifted to Perth from the mine, which is situated about 400 kilometres north of Meekatharra, where he underwent surgery for multiple fractures in both feet, a ruptured Achilles tendon and a sprained ligament.

A subsequent investigation into the incident revealed the basket had detached because the attachment bracket locking pins had not been engaged or checked.

During the sentencing today, the Perth Magistrate’s Court ordered Minterra, formerly known as Australian Contract Mining, to pay a $102,000 fine and $6,000 in legal costs.

In a statement released following the verdict this afternoon, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety mines safety director Andrew Chaplyn said falls were one of the main hazards that led to fatalities and serious injuries in the mining industry.

He said it was up to mine operators to ensure that their employees understood and adhered to safety instructions and were aware of the mechanisms of their machinery.

Minterra serves as Westgold's specialist underground mining service division to six of its underground gold operations in the Murchison region.

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