Production resumes at Waihi gold mine
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 2:17p.m.
Production is resuming at Newmont Waihi Gold's Trio underground mine in Waihi where 28 workers were rescued on Tuesday after a truck caught fire.
"The underground mining crew that were on shift during the time of the fire were back at work today for the first time since the fire," the company said.
Work at the mine started on Thursday night and production is resuming today, but the 35 tonne truck that caught fire is cordoned off for forensic examination when it has cooled sufficiently.
The men were rescued from three underground safety chambers.
The company says the investigation into the cause of the fire will take a week or two but it has already changed procedures for contacting the families of workers as a result of the incident.
"Some of the guys underground had put down their own mobile phone numbers as being the best way of contacting their families, and that meant that we weren't able to get hold of people as quickly as we would've liked to," Glen Grindlay, general manager of operations, said.
"We'll be working to ensure that everyone working in the mine provides us with current contact details for their families so that we don't have this situation again," he said.
The fire was the most serious safety incident at the mine since it opened in 2006.
It came less than two years after the Pike River Coal mine disaster, where 29 men were killed in a series of blasts on the West Coast.
However, the risk of a similar explosion in a hard rock gold mine was almost non-existent.
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