30/09/2021 - 09:09

Worker death at Fortescue mine

30/09/2021 - 09:09

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UPDATED: A worker has died at Fortescue Metals Group's Solomon Hub, leading to a temporary suspension of operations at the site.

Operations were suspended at FMG's Solomon hub.

A worker has died at Fortescue Metals Group's Solomon Hub, leading to a temporary suspension of operations at the site. 

In a statement to the ASX, Fortescue advised there had been a fatality as a result of an incident at its Solomon Hub mining operations.

It said the incident occurred when there was a collapse of ground.

Fortescue Metals Group chief executive Elizabeth Gaines expressed the company’s deepest sympathies.

“This is a very sad day for Fortescue and all our thoughts are with his family as we provide our full support to them at this very difficult time,” Ms Gaines told the ASX.

“The wellbeing of the entire Fortescue family is our priority with a range of support services available across our sites, including the Fortescue Chaplains and Employee Assistance Program.”

WA Police posted on Twitter that it was responding to a death of a man at a minesite in the Pilbara region.

It said the death was being treated as non-suspicious and a report would be prepared for the coroner. 

Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety acting director Sally North said mine safety inspectors were travelling from Perth to attend the scene and were expected to arrive this evening. 

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Tania Constable said she was deeply saddened by the tragic death of the worker,

"Our thoughts go to the worker's family, friends and colleagues, as well as the emergency responders and mine safety inspectors," Ms Constable said. 

Solomon is one of three major mining hubs for Fortescue in the Pilbara.

It has production capacity of about 75 million tonnes per annum, using ore from the Firetail, Kings Valley and Queens Valley.

The fatality comes shortly after a 52-year-old maintenance worker at the Sino Iron project in the Pilbara died.

Citic Pacific Mining confirmed the death on September 20, saying it was the result of injuries sustained from an apparent fall on the site.

According to DMIRS, in the financial year to June 2021, there were 16 workplace deaths in Western Australia, two of which occurred in the mining sector.

The number of workplace-related deaths in WA has averaged 16.5 per year over the past decade, with the mining sector averaging 2.6 deaths per year.

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