BHP Billiton suspended production at Nickel West Leinster Perseverance Underground mine due to safety concerns after a seismic event that occurred on October 31st, 2013.
Nickel West technical and operational teams with the help of independent experts have been evaluating the technical data and risks on the sub-level cave operations and all the options available since the seismic event.
The company issued a news release yesterday revealing that according to the analysis results BHP Billiton cannot safely resume operations in the sub-level cave at Perseverance mine and must suspend production.
However, Nickel West will continue to operate the processing facilities at Leinster, as well as all other operations in Western Australia.
Nickel West will also continue to maintain the underground infrastructure in Perseverance mine and mining will continue at Rocky’s Reward open cut mine, which is near Leinster in order to provide the necessary ore supply to the company’s integrated business.
The decision to suspend the mining operations in the sub-level cave at Perseverance mine will result in a reduction in the operational workforce at Leinster. The decision will also have a significant impact on valued stakeholders.
The company further announced that it will continue to collaborate with all employees affected by the decision and will do anything possible to help them find redeployment opportunities within Nickel West and the broader BHP Billiton Group where possible.
“The health, safety and wellbeing of our people is paramount; it is the first of Our Charter values. As this change is implemented, we will continue to treat our people and stakeholders with the utmost care and respect and maintain our strong focus on safety,” said Nickel West Asset President Paul Harvey.
BHP Billiton is already taking all necessary steps and measures to better understand the broader implications of this decision on the Nickel West business and the impact on production will be reported in the BHP Billiton December 2013 quarter Operational Review.