BHP suspends Australian nickel mine on worker death

[Note the final sentence, Ed.] April 12 (Bloomberg) — BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, suspended its Nickel West Leinster operations in Western Australia after a worker was killed in an incident.

[To view video, http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/04/12/2870772.htm%5D

The man was involved in an accident with a front-end loader while working 850 meters (2,788 feet) underground, Melbourne- based BHP spokeswoman Amanda Buckley said today in an interview. The mine was closed when the incident occurred at 9:30 a.m. local time yesterday and his body was retrieved early this morning, she said. She was unable to say when the mine would reopen.

BHP is the world’s third-largest nickel producer and the Leinster operation produces nickel concentrate from two underground mines and a plant. The plant has an operating capacity of 3 million tons a year, according to BHP’s Web site.

The Nickel West unit, including the Leinster and Mt. Keith mines, produced 59,400 metric tons of nickel in the six months to Dec. 31, the company said in regulatory filing.

BHP shares rose 1.2 percent to A$44.44 at 10:18 a.m. Sydney time on the Australian stock exchange.

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http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/04/12/bloomberg1376-L0QNUO0UQVI9-1.DTL


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