Poisoned food prompts major police investigation at Gina Rinehart’s Pilbara mine

Image credit: Roy Hill website

The police are investigating a possible attempted poisoning at Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill mine in Western Australia after a contracted employee dining at the remote Pilbara site on Monday noticed a bad taste as he started eating a meal.

Image credit: Roy Hill website
Image credit: Roy Hill website

The company said in a statement that the worker noticed an “unusual discolouration” inside a piece of fruit from the mine site’s dining hall, after which the staff contacted the police.

Laboratory testing of the fruit confirmed the presence of a dangerous chemical late on Wednesday, but WA police yesterday said there had been no other reports of poisoning and they believed it was an isolated incident.

“There are a number of potential explanations, which are all currently being explored. The incident occurred on Monday, December 15 and to date there are no other reported incidents, indicating that this is an isolated incident.”

The police said that it will continue to work closely with the Department of Health, Chem Centre and Roy Hill to ascertain how a dangerous chemical has contaminated an item of fruit at the Roy Hill construction site.

Roy Hill Chief Executive Barry Fitzgerald told the Sydney Morning Herald that the company has handed the matter to the police.

“Our first and foremost priority is the safety and well-being of our people. We have tightened our food security as a means of ensuring no further incidents occur; and are working closely with the police in their investigation,” he said.

The company also stated that it has communicated with the catering company to tighten food security as a means of ensuring no further incidents occur.