AMSJ » Resources employee killed in accident had a ‘heart of gold’ says loved one

Resources employee killed in accident had a ‘heart of gold’ says loved one

Nathan Scholz
Nathan Scholz

A mine worker who died during duties will be remembered for his generosity.

Colleagues and loved ones are mourning the sudden loss of Nathan Scholz (pictured right) who passed away when a vehicle fatally struck him before 5:30am on 25 April 2023 near BHP’s Olympic Dam mine.

Fiance Bianca Sonntag described the Exact Mining Services fitter as both her partner and “best friend”.

“He had a heart of gold and the greatest sense of humour … [and] he was loved by his beautiful family,” the veterinary nurse said according to News Limited.

“He will be forever in our hearts.”

Scholz began his career at Murray Engineering where the 25-year-old was trained in diesel mechanics. He was eventually contracted to work at Olympic Dam as a fitter.

“He was one of the smartest kids,” Sonntag said according to the media outlet.

BHP expressed condolences to Sonntag and the rest of the family.

“Our deepest sympathies are with Nathan’s family, friends and colleagues. Our primary focus is supporting them at this difficult time,” a spokesperson said in a public statement.

The employer confirmed the incident occurred along a surface access road on private property owned by the mine.

“We are working with South Australia Police and SafeWork SA to understand what happened and support their investigations. BHP is also conducting its own investigation,” the spokesperson said.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner.

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) was “deeply saddened” and hoped all proponents would learn from this tragedy, so every worker returns home safely.

“Our thoughts are with the families, friends and colleagues of the deceased,” MCA CEO Tania Constable said in a public statement.

“The Australian mining industry’s core value and commitment is the safety, health, and psychological wellbeing of its workforce, where everyone who goes to work returns home safe and healthy.”

This is the second BHP employee fatality in 11 weeks. Coworkers and loved ones are still reeling from the sudden loss of Jody Byrne, who died after a BHP train collided with him at the Boodarie rail yard (13km southwest of Port Hedland) on 7 February 2023.

BHP earlier celebrated four years without a workplace fatality in its operational review for the year ending on 31 December 2022.

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