OZ Minerals has commenced a progressive return to operations at the Prominent Hill copper-gold mine in South Australia following an incident involving a Byrnecut employee.
The fatal accident, which occurred on Sunday, involved a Byrnecut employee working underground.
OZ Minerals started a staggered resumption of surface operations on Monday afternoon and has since decided underground mining can progressively resume after discussions with crews.
South Australia’s Department of Energy and Mining, and SafeWork SA approved the return to operations.
Both OZ Minerals and Byrnecut are working with authorities on an incident investigation.
“Byrnecut and OZ Minerals express our deepest sympathies to the worker’s family,” OZ Minerals managing director and chief executive officer Andrew Cole said on Monday.
“This incident has had a profound impact on our workforce and our priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone at site.”
According to a statement from South Australia Police, emergency services were called to the mining area at 3:25pm after a 43-year-old man was crushed by machinery and died at the scene.
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.”
The Prominent Hill mine is located 650 kilometres north-west of Adelaide and 130 kilometres south-east of Coober Pedy.
Byrnecut is an underground contract mining company that was established in 1987.