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Cold, acidic bath kills ‘thrill seeker’ at old mine

Black Diamond Mine
Black Diamond Mine

An adventurer submerged himself in cool, burning liquid before passing away at an abandoned resources operation.

Authorities recently found a 33-year-old male who drowned in a man-made lake at Amalgamated Collieries’ defunct Black Diamond Mine, 53km east of Bunbury.

The Western Australian Police Force confirmed the Taiwanese national tried to swim from one side to the other but failed to return safely. Specialist divers took 2.5 hours to locate the body after an extensive air, land and water search.

“They were swimming and, unfortunately, the gentleman got into some trouble while he was swimming and never made it [back] to shore,” acting senior sergeant Dean said according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“It is tragic … it is a terrible time for this type of thing, there is never a good time for it.”

Although Collie River Valley encourages people to visit the turquoise waters, which are a top selfie destination, it cautions against swimming at the disused mine due to its corrosive properties.

“Due to past mining activities (Black Diamond is an artificial lake created from a disused open-cut mine) the water has a low pH level [and] those with sensitive skin should limit their exposure to the water. The water in places is very deep and can be very cold,” the valley website said.

The warning came as more than 600 former mines are audited for safety across the Northern Territory.

The NT Government recently appointed EcOz Environmental Consultants to spend the next three years performing risk assessments and developing works programs at Pine Creek, Alice Springs, Nonney Well, Frew River, Katherine and greater Darwin.

At least $1.4 million in funding has been allocated through the Small Mines Safety Program for examining mines built in the late 1800s to early 1900s that employed hand tools and other “unsophisticated” rock extraction methods.

“This will feed into the development of a rolling work program of remediation works coordinated by the Legacy Mines Unit,” a government spokesperson said according to News Limited.

“It is anticipated that packages of remediation works will be issued for the regions as the works are completed.”

There was no deadline for implementing recommendations from the safety audit at the time of publication.

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