AMSJ » New mine site death reported in less than two years

New mine site death reported in less than two years

Eli Kelly
Eli Kelly

A mining fatality is being mourned just 18 months after a different workmate passed away.

Colleagues, friends and family are reeling after Eli Kelly died at Gold Fields’ Saint Ives mine.

WorkSafe Western Australia and state police officers recently began investigating circumstances surrounding the fatal incident, which was reported at about 3pm on 23 April 2024 local time.

Neither the investigators nor the proponent confirmed exactly how the 21-year-old contractor perished.

“Every workplace fatality is a tragedy, and I extend my condolences to the deceased’s family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time … [and] the investigation is ongoing,” WorkSafe acting commissioner Sally North said according to News Limited.

Gold Fields confirmed mineral production was suspended until a full investigation concludes.

“It is with deep sadness that Gold Fields confirms that a colleague was fatally injured yesterday at the St Ives mine … [and] this is a tragic loss and we are working with our contractors involved and our site teams to support them through this difficult time,” acting executive vice president for Australia Graeme Ovens said according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“Making sure everyone goes home safe and well at the end of each the day is our first and most important value, and we continue to work towards eliminating serious injuries and fatalities in our business.”

The remarks came less than two years after 37-year-old fly-in fly-out worker Terry Hogan died from a rock fall at the same site.

“Another one! [This is the] same mine site that took my brother less than two years ago. [I] wonder if it was another ‘rock fall’, my brother was also a contractor,” mourning relative Nikki Hogan said on Facebook.

Former St Ives employee Bai Liang described Kelly’s death as “sad”.

“I worked this site as graduate last year. Sorry for the loss of his family,” he said on Facebook.

“Fly high Ellie, Eli Kelly [I was] always grateful to have met you. You will be missed,” Brooke Stevenson added.

Others demanded the responsible supervisor’s resignation.

“Whole of management need[s] firing,” Alexandra Vernon commented.

“Rest in peace young man. Condolences to his family and friends. No one should die at work. Everybody deserves to go home from work,” Walter Rowe added.

The Minerals Council of Australia was “deeply saddened” by the latest tragedy, and urged every employer to put health and safety ahead of productivity and profit.

“Safety is the highest priority for our industry. The minerals industry will continue to work hard towards eliminating fatalities, injuries and occupational illnesses,” chief executive officer Tania Constable said in a public statement.

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