Newmont faulted for deadly mine accident

Posted: Monday, August 04, 2008

ELKO, Nev. - Newmont Mining Corp. has been faulted for a deadly June 2007 mine accident in northern Nevada.

A report released Thursday by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration concludes the company failed to ensure safe ground conditions at its Midas Mine in Elko County.

Dan Shaw, 30, of Winnemucca, was operating a loader about 200 feet below the mine's portal when the ground beneath him caved in. Both Shaw and his loader plunged 30 feet and were buried in the rubble.

Rescue crews worked around the clock for 13 days and removed 5,000 tons of debris before Shaw's body was recovered. No one else was injured.

"The accident occurred because management failed to establish procedures to ensure that safe ground conditions were established and maintained," the MSHA report says.

"The voids that developed in the backfill created hazards for miners working and traveling in the mine. Management was aware that subsidence was occurring in the mine, but did not control the hazards and continued to require miners work and travel in hazardous areas."

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