Vale worker at Coleman Mine killed Sunday – UPDATED (Sudbury Star – January 30, 2012)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Vale has confirmed that an employee was killed Sunday by falling rock at Coleman Mine.

“Vale regretfully announces that an employee was fatally injured this afternoon while working underground in the main ore body at the 4215-foot level of the company’s Coleman Mine in Levack due to what appears to be some displacement of material from a development heading,” the company said in a release.

“The employee was found and brought to surface, where he was subsequently pronounced dead by medical authorities.” Vale said the immediate family has been notified, but the name of the employee is being withheld pending completion of the notification process.

The employee was 47 and had 16 years with the company.

Greater Sudbury Police confirmed Sunday evening that an investigation is ongoing at the mine, but said they are not in a position to release any further information just yet.

Ministry of Labour, and representatives of Vale and the United Steelworkers Local 6500, are also investigating.

Vale also announced it has temporarily suspended operations at its mines in Sudbury.

Earlier Sunday, members of The Star’s UR Sudbury forum and Strikeforce 6500 Facebook site reported the death.

People expressed their sorrow on Strikeforce 6500 and The Sudbury Star website.

“Grateful to see my husband come home tonight … and very sad for the wife and family of the fallen ‘brother’ …. Words can’t express the feelings at the moment … very sad,” one woman said on Strikeforce 6500.
“You are going to be missed so much. I could not believe it when I was told it was you. RIP brother,” said another, this time on The Star’s website.

The company also expressed sorrow in a statement.

“We are saddened and devastated by the loss of this employee,” said Kelly Strong, Vice President Mining & Milling (North Atlantic Operations) and General Manager, Ontario Operations. “Our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to the employee’s family, and everyone who knew and worked with him.

“Our efforts are now focused on supporting the family and our employees at the mine site, and on understanding exactly what occurred.”

Coleman Mine, located in Levack, contains high levels of copper and precious metals, along with nickel.

This is the second fatal accident at Vale’s operations in less than eight months.

Jason Chenier, 35, and Jordan Fram, 26, were killed in June when they were crushed by a run of muck – rock and water – at Stobie Mine.

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