A total of 39 miners have now been returned to the surface at Vale’s Totten operation in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, after the mine’s primary shaft sustained damage and trapped the workers underground.
The initial event occurred on Sept. 25 and involved damage to the shaft that houses the conveyance that carried personnel between underground and the surface. While awaiting rescue, the group gathered at the operation’s underground refuge stations.
No injuries have been reported.
Miners began making their way to the surface on Sept. 26 via a secondary egress ladderway system and the aid of Ontario Mine Rescue and the Vale mine rescue team.
“Bringing our 39 employees home safe and healthy was our top priority and we’re glad that our emergency plans and procedures worked to deliver that outcome. All the employees are safe now and deserve our deep respect for their perseverance and strong will,” said Vale CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo.
The operator, which produced 3,600 tons of finished nickel in 1H21, said it is launching an investigation into what caused the incident.