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Northwest B.C. gold mine reopens following fatal incident

Investigation into October fatality at Brucejack mine ongoing: provincial mines investigation unit
Brucejack mine in northwestern B.C. (File photo)

Mining operations have resumed at Brucejack gold mine nearly a month after a fatal incident.

The Newcrest Mining site in northwest B.C. had indefinitely suspended all activities pending an investigation after the death of an employee of its contractor Procon on Oct. 22.

The provincial chief inspector of mines initiated an investigation on Oct. 22, to be conducted by the Mines Investigation Unit. The investigation is still ongoing said the Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation and declined to further comment at this time.

READ MORE: Fatality confirmed at Brucejack gold mine

In a statement Nov. 16, the company announced that the Brucejack mine had resumed mining and processing operations pursuant to a safety-first restart plan.

Brucejack is one of the highest-grade operating gold mines in the world. It is located 65 km north of Stewart in an area dubbed B.C.’s “Golden Triangle”.

Last year, Newcrest acquired Brucejack which was previously operated by Pretivm in a 3.5 billion deal.

Since Brucejack opened in 2017, this is the third work-related fatality recorded at the mine. In 2018, a resident from Smithers who was an employee of a company contracted to the mine died at a support camp 25 kilometres from the mine location. In 202o, a Newfoundland man, Patrick Critch, was killed on-site.

“The devastating incident at Brucejack is a stark reminder that safety must always be our number one priority as a business,” said Sandeep Biswas, Newcrest’s managing director and chief executive officer.

Biswas also said, during the suspension of operations, Newcrest reviewed all activities at Brucejack to identify major hazards and corresponding critical controls to prevent fatalities and life-changing injuries.

“We also established additional control verification mechanisms to ensure those critical controls are effective and working,” he added.

About the Author: Binny Paul

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