Fortescue Metals Group has halted operations at the Solomon Hub iron ore operation in Western Australia following an incident involving an employee.
The company stated a the incident involved a collapse of ground and had resulted in a fatality.
“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,” Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said.
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.”
“A full investigation into the incident is currently being undertaken with Fortescue working closely with WA Police and WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
Solomon Hub is one of three iron ore mining hubs operated by Fortescue in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
It is located 60 kilometres north of Tom Price and 120 kilometres from Fortescue’s Chichester Hub and contains the Firetail, Kings Valley and Queens Valley mines.
The Solomon Hub has a production capacity of 75 million tonnes of iron ore per annum and blends higher iron grade ore from Firetail with low phosphorous Chichester ore.
Fortescue recently contracted the Wintawari Guruma Aboriginal Corporation to develop new mines at Solomon Hub through a $500 million contract, which is the largest deal between Fortescue and an Aboriginal business.
The miner also awarded a design and construction of a primary crushing plant and overland conveyor contract to NRW Holdings subsidiary in January 2021 for Queens Valley.
Fortescue shipped a record 182.2 million tonnes of iron ore in the 12 months to June 30, 2021.
The company is also looking at deploying more autonomous vehicles across its operations with 193 autonomous haul trucks operated across its Pilbara operations, including 79 at Solomon Hub.