Newmont Mining Corp : Fifteen Newmont Mining Staff Still Trapped After Fire At New Zealand Mine
07/16/2012| 08:24pm US/Eastern
--Fire at the Trio mine started on a truck at 5 am local time
--Mines Rescue Service evacuated 13 staff from mine
--Mining operations at Trio underground mine halted
By Lucy Craymer
WELLINGTON--Fifteen staff remain in an underground refuge chamber at Newmont Mining Corp.'s (NEM) Waihi gold mine in New Zealand's central North Island after a truck fire broke out, halting operations earlier this morning, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
The fire in the truck at the Trio underground mine, within the Waihi concern, was reported around 5 a.m. local time (1700 GMT), and staff headed to refuge chambers, reporting by phone to the surface, the company said.
"All 28 personnel that were underground at the time have been accounted for," the company said. The Mines Rescue Team has brought 13 staff to the surface, and the team is now making its way to a third refuge chamber where the remaining 15 staff are located, Newmont said.
"Three Newmont Waihi Gold Mines Rescue Teams are on site to assist with the evacuation. One of those teams is underground now, and two more are ready to assist," the company said.
The company said that while operations at the mine have been halted, there was no risk of an explosion as the mine is a hardrock gold mine.
Development of Newmont Waihi Gold's Trio mine began in 2010 and is expected to be completed in 2014, the company's website says. Newmont produces on average around 100,000 ounces of gold and around 750,000 ounces of silver annually at its two other mines in the area, the website said.
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