Brucejack gold mine reopens after fatal incident

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

The Newcrest Mining site in northern British Columbia had suspended all operations indefinitely pending an investigation, following the death of an employee of its contractor Procon on October 22.

The Provincial Chief Inspector of Mines launched an investigation on October 22, which will be conducted by the Mines Investigation Unit. The investigation is still ongoing, the Department of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation said and declined to comment further at this stage.

In a statement Wednesday morning (November 16), the company announced that the Brucejack mine had resumed mining and processing operations under a safety-focused restart plan.

Brucejack is one of the richest operating gold mines in the world. It is located 65 km north of Stewart in an area known as British Columbia’s “Golden Triangle” on Tahltan First Nation territory.

Last year Newcrest acquired Brucejack which was previously operated by Pretivm in a 3.5 billion deal.

Since Brucejack opened in 2017, this is the third work-related fatality recorded at the mine. In 2018, a Smithers resident who was an employee of a company under contract with the mine died at a support camp 25 km from the mine site. In 2020, a man from Newfoundland, Patrick Critch was killed on the spot.

“The devastating incident at Brucejack is a stark reminder that safety should always be our number one priority as a business,” said Sandeep Biswas, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Newcrest.

Biswas also said that during the suspension of operations, Newcrest has reviewed all activities at Brucejack to identify key hazards and corresponding critical controls to prevent fatalities and life-changing injuries.

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

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