Friday 16 August 2013

Worker killed at Western Australia ore mine.

A worker was killed at the Christmas Creek Iron Ore Mine in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia, in an incident on Wednesday 14 August 2013. The man has been named as Kurt Williams, a 26-year-old electrician from Aukland, New Zealand, a contractor working for Crushing Services International at the mine, which is operated by the Fortescue Metals Group. The precise details of the incident are not yet clear, but it is reported that Williams was carrying out maintenance work on crushing machinery at night when he was killed. Operations at the mine have been suspended pending an enquiry into the incident, which is the first fatal accident at a mine in Western Australia in nearly two years, which will be carried out by the Department of Mines and Petroleum in Perth.

Areal photograph of the Christmas Creek Mine. Fortescue Metals Group.

The Christmas Creek Mine is an open pit mine located about 60 km South West of Nullagine and 1200 km northeast of Perth. As well as producing iron ore it also produces silica, aluminium and phosphorous minerals. The ore is processed on site then shipped by rail to Herb Elliott Port.

The Electrical Trades Union had previously raised concerns about practices employed by Crushing Services at mines in Western Australian, particularly the carrying out of maintenance work on live machinery at night by lone workers.

Kurt Williams with his girlfriend Peta Demeza. New Zealand Herald.