OZ Minerals gets to the bottom of Prominent Hill incident

OZ Minerals and Byrnecut continue to scrutinise an incident that occurred at the Prominent Hill mine in South Australia in September.

Operations were temporarily suspended at the site after a machinery accident involving a Byrnecut employee working underground resulted in a loss of life.

It comes as OZ Minerals realised its third quarter results for 2021, with positive production levels marred by the fatality.

“A positive third quarter from a group production and cost perspective was overshadowed by the fatal injury of one of our Prominent Hill mine team members, a Byrnecut underground employee, in September,” OZ Minerals managing director and chief executive officer Andrew Cole said.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic event and we share our condolences with his family and friends. We and Byrnecut are conducting our own investigation in parallel with investigations being conducted by authorities. Safety at the site and the wellbeing of all our workforce remains a priority.”

Cole said his company was continuing to navigate COVID-19 related disruptions limiting movement to and from its operations, with the safety of its workers at the forefront.

“COVID-19 outbreaks in the eastern states of Australia have led us to limit the movement of people from these areas to all but critical specialist workers,” Cole said.

“Limiting movement is focused on reducing the health risk to our workforce and the community, and requires some additional administrative and logistics management.

“With the COVID environment in Australia remaining dynamic as states prepare for border openings and restrictions to be eased, we will continue to carefully monitor and review our processes.”

Despite the fatality that occurred at Prominent Hill, OZ Minerals recorded a total recordable injury frequency (TRIF) per million hours worked of 4.21, lower than 4.6 reported in the previous quarter.

OZ Minerals produced 33,794 tonnes of copper and 65,932 ounces of gold in the September quarter, both improved results from the three months prior.

The miner has boosted its gold production guidance for the 2021-22 financial year as a result, rising from 205,000 to 228,000 ounces up to 220,000 to 243,000 ounces.

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