Northwest B.C. gold mine reopens following fatal incident

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

Newcrest Mining in northwestern British Columbia suspended all activity indefinitely pending an investigation following the death of an employee of its contractor Procon on Oct. 22.

On October 22, the Provincial Chief Inspector of Mine started the investigation, which was carried out by the mine investigation team. The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation said the investigation was still ongoing and declined to comment further.

In a statement on November 16, the company announced that the Brucejack mine had resumed mining and processing operations under a safety-first restart plan.

Brucejack is one of the highest-grade operating gold mines in the world. It is located 65 kilometers north of Stewart in what is known as British Columbia’s “Golden Triangle” on Tahltan First Nation territory.

Last year, Newcrest acquired Brucejack, previously run by Pretivm, for $3.5 billion.

It was the third work-related fatality recorded at the mine since Brucejack opened in 2017. In 2018, a Smithers resident died in a support camp 25km from the mine, an employee of a company contracted to the mine. In 202o, Newfoundland man Patrick Critch was killed instantly.

“The devastating events of Brucejack are a stark reminder that as a business, safety must always be our number one priority,” said Sandeep Biswas, Newcrest’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

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

“We have also established additional control verification mechanisms to ensure that these key controls are effective and effective,” he added.

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