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Metal mine suspends operation due to cyclone damage

Sandfire Resources
Sandfire Resources

A mid-tier mining and exploration company has temporarily stopped production at its metal mine after it suffered a major natural disaster.

Sandfire Resources recently suspended operations shortly after category three cyclone Damien damaged its DeGrussa Copper-Gold Mine in Meekatharra, 722km south of Port Hedland.

220km/h wind

The proponent made the safety call after 220km/h winds and heavy rain caused water levels in the open pit to rise above a containment bund section and crown pillar stope, causing excess runoff to enter the Evans Decline.

“Following assessment and subsequent clearance, all personnel were safely moved to the surface via light vehicles,” Sandfire said in a public statement. “The immediately impacted area was isolated and damage was limited to erosion of a section of the decline road surface, a light vehicle and one piece of underground mining equipment.”

There is still some water at the base of the decline and the proponent will use its existing ancillary pumps to remove it.

The Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has already attended site and completed an inspection.

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Underground mining operations have since resumed and the temporary suspension is not expected to affect production guidance for the rest of the 2020 financial year.

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