McEwen mining updates information on fatal haul truck incident

May 20, 2019 Mining Editor

McEwen Mining has provided an update on the fatal haul truck incident at the Gold Bar mine in the USA last week.

McEwen said that ‘The formal investigation by local authorities is not complete, but preliminary analysis by McEwen Mining suggests that the truck driver, Mr Dean V. Pilcher, may have suffered a medical emergency while operating the haul truck prior to losing control, running up an embankment and overturning.

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‘Mr. Pilcher was found within minutes by another truck driver who immediately called for assistance. The section of haul road immediately around the accident site remains closed to allow for the investigation. Mine operations such as crushing and stacking on the heap leach pad resumed on Tuesday, drawing on available stockpiles of ore, and we expect that mining activities will restart today.

‘We convey our deep sympathy to Mr Pilcher’s family, friends and colleagues for their sudden and tragic loss. Grief counselling and support is being offered to all employees and contractors at the mine.’ A representative from McEwen Mining said.

In September 2018, a worker succumbed to burns following a fatal haul truck incident at a Peabody  Energy mine when he attempted to exit the haul truck following the failure of a fire suppression system. The outcomes of the investigation highlighted that companies should ensure fire suppression systems are properly maintained and protected from damage.

Haul truck incidents continue to be a leading cause of death and injuries to mine workers globally. Issues affecting haul truck safety include the speed of operation, maintenance of the haul truck and associated system, adequacy of training, road surfaces, substandard roadway design and contact with other vehicles. Fire is also a known catalyst for haul truck injuries.

UPDATED 22/5/2019 MSHA PROVIDES UPDATE ON GOLD BAR INCIDENT

The Mine Safety & Health Administration has completed a preliminary report on a fatal truck accident at the new Gold Bar Mine in Eureka County.

On May 13, haul truck driver Dean V. Pilcher, 57, of Colorado was killed when his vehicle overturned while operating at the mine. Pilcher was employed by N.A. Degerstrom of Spokane, a contractor for mine owner McEwen Mining Inc.

According to MSHA, the operator’s Caterpillar 777D haul truck was ascending the Cabin Pit Haul Road when the truck slowed and stopped, then rolled backwards. The truck traveled more than 300 feet and ran up a hill, causing it to roll over once. The truck came to rest upright on its tires.

Image: Haul Truck Fire – For illustrative purposes only.

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