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No one injured in Kensington rockfall

Posted: October 11, 2011 - 12:01am

A rockfall Sunday at the Kensington Gold Mine resulted in no injuries or production delay, company officials said.

“Underground operation has been running normally,” said Jan Trigg, community relations manager for Coeur Alaska, owner of the mine 30 miles north of downtown Juneau.

Workers were doing the routine process of “rock bolting,” in which lose rock is removed or firmly attached to prevent its falling when the incident occurred, Trigg said.

“It’s routinely used in underground mining operations to stabilize an excavation using rock bolts that are anchored into the rock wall,” she said.

The rockfall was in the primary access to the underground mining operations, but the access remained open at all times, as did a secondary access, she said. No one was trapped.

The rockfall did damage an underground water line, but that has since been repaired, Trigg said.

Trigg called the work during which the incident occurred “standard, everyday” mine maintenance work.

A 30-year-old Kensington miner from Juneau was killed at the mine a month ago when he was struck by small rocks and debris driven through a 3-inch borehole.

The Kensington Gold Mine employs 214 workers, and opened in the summer of 2010, after having been in development for two decades.

• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 523-2250 or at patrick.forgey@juneauempire.com.

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