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Underground fire at Canadian Gold mine

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An underground fire in a Canadian gold mine resulted in property damage only

An underground fire during a shift change at a Canadian gold mine was extinguished without injuries the mine owners have said.

The mine’s owner Goldcorp said that at approximately 6:00 pm on the March 29 an underground fire was reported at Goldcorp’s Musselwhite Mine.

Goldcorp’s Musselwhite mine is a  FIFO( fly-in,  fly-out) operation located approximately 500 km north of Thunder Bay in Canada.

The site uses Sandvik’s AutoMine system which allows the operation of an LH514 LHD from the surface in tele-remote or fully automatic modes. Mucking is regularly remotely conducted through shift changes and blast windows from the surface. It is not known at this stage if the fire originated from remote equipment as the mine runs an extensive ore processing operation underground in addition to a range of mobile plant and equipment.

Goldcorp said that no one was in the mine at the time, as the fire was discovered during shift change. Emergency responders were deployed and immediately initiated response procedures.

It said at the time that the fire has been extinguished quickly and successfully. All employees are accounted for and there are no reported injuries. It said that local stakeholders and relevant government officials have been notified.

‘Due to the nature of the fire, the mine must be cleared of gases before repair work commences or mine operations can be restarted. It is too early to determine the source of the fire or the impact on underground operations. Surface operations continue.’

Goldcorp said it carries comprehensive insurance for property damage.

Business interruption insurance is also in place to cover fixed costs and lost profits during the period of disruption. Property and business interruption insurance coverage is subject to certain deductibles. An investigation will be conducted to determine the source of the fire.

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