Cyclone Damien disrupts DeGrussa operations

Image: Sandfire Resources

Sandfire Resources has felt the wrath of Tropical Cyclone Damien after heavy rainfall associated with the storm flooded a section of the DeGrussa copper-gold open pit mine in Western Australia.

The company temporarily suspended operations at the DeGrussa mine after rainwater overtopped a section of a containment bud and entered the Evans decline.

Sandfire immediately isolated the impacted area, limiting the damage to erosion of one section of the decline road surface, a light vehicle and one piece of underground mining equipment.

“Appropriate measures were activated in line with standard underground mining safety protocols,” Sandfire stated in a media release.

“Following assessment and subsequent clearance, all personnel were safely moved to the surface via light vehicles.

“Our employees and contractors responded professionally, with the safety of our people paramount at all times.”

The Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) attended the site for an inspection and mining activities resumed after its approval.

The DeGrussa concentrator has been unaffected by the cyclone and continues to process run-of-mine stockpiles from both DeGrussa and the nearby Monty mine.

Tropical Cyclone Damien hit the Pilbara region last week, bringing with it more than 200 millimetres of rainfall and up to 100 kilometre per hour winds near its centre.

While the cyclone was rated category 3 when it made contact with land, it was reduced to category 1 two days later.

Port Hedland, Dampier and Ashburton ports were all closed as cyclone Damien passed overhead.