BHP’s Nickel West Leinster Perseverance mine in WA has been shut down over safety concern following an earthquake event in October that trapped 9 miners.
At this stage it is uncertain how many jobs may be affected by the closure.
Nickel West Asset President Paul Harvey said the company would continue to work closely with employees affected by the decision and help find redeployment opportunities within Nickel West and the broader BHP Billiton Group where possible.
“The health, safety and wellbeing of our people is paramount; it is the first of Our Charter
values. As this change is implemented, we will continue to treat our people and
stakeholders with the utmost care and respect and maintain our strong focus on safety,” he said.
A statement released by BHP said, “Since the event, Nickel West technical and operational teams, supported by independent experts, have been assessing the technical data and risks on the sub-level cave operations and all the options available. Following this analysis BHP Billiton has decided it is unable to safely resume operations in the sub-level cave at Perseverance mine.”
The earthquake, on 31 October 2013, trapped 9 workers in a refuge chamber for almost 10 hours before they were rescued.
Nickel West will continue to operate its processing facilities at Leinster, along with its other
operations in WA, and will continue to maintain the underground infrastructure in Perseverance mine
In addition, mining will resume at Rocky’s Reward open cut mine, near Leinster, to provide an alternative ore supply to BHP’s integrated business.