Newcrest Mining has confirmed a fatality at its Brucejack gold mine in northwest B.C.
In a statement this morning, the company did not give any details on the nature of the “isolated incident” that led to the death of an employee of its contractor Procon on Saturday, Oct. 22.
“This is devastating news that no one ever wants to hear,” said chief executive officer, Sandeep Biswas in the Oct. 27 statement.
“The feeling of profound sadness when a life is lost is never forgotten. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family and those close to our colleague during this very difficult and emotional time.”
Mining operations remain suspended at the mine pending an ongoing investigation involving Newcrest, Procon and “relevant authorities.”
“Newcrest will share further information as appropriate, recognizing the need to respect the investigation process and, more importantly, the family’s privacy in their time of grief,” the release stated.
In an earlier release, Newcrest said Biswas, along with chief operating officer Craig Jones chief operating officer for the Americas had flown to site to support employees and contractors.
Newcrest also said there is no ongoing threat to the safety or physical well-being of the Brucejack team.
“Newcrest’s focus is on providing support to all those impacted during this distressing time. There is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of those who work at Newcrest.”
The provincial chief inspector of mines initiated an investigation on October 22 to be conducted by the Mines Investigation Unit, said a spokesperson from the ministry of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation.
“Ministry staff remain on scene.The investigation is ongoing, and the Mines Investigation Unit, following standard protocols, is in contact with the local RCMP regarding the matter,” said the spokesperson in an email statement.
Brucejack is one of the highest-grade operating gold mines in the world. It is located 65 km north of Stewart in an area dubbed B.C.’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 resident from Smithers who was an employee of a company contracted to the mine died at a support camp 25km from the mine location. In 202o, a Newfoundland man, Patrick Critch was killed on-site.