The First Nickel Inc. shift supervisor on duty the night a fall of ground at the company’s Lockerby Mine that killed two men was aware there had been a major “bump” or movement of ground at the mine the preceding dayshift.
But, Wade Johnson said Wednesday, he had no idea where the bump had occurred because the mine captain who briefed the night shift team before they started work did not know either. That was because the ground control team had gone home for the day and because no microseismic monitoring charts were available to peruse and isolate the location of the bump, Johnson said.
“There should be a chart: we should know exactly where the bump was,” the veteran miner told the ongoing Ontario Court of Justice trial of First Nickel Inc. and Taurus Drilling. “When I worked at a mine in Lively, there was a refuge station you could see (the charts) and know where the bump was.”
“That wasn’t the case at First Nickel?” he was asked in cross-examination. “No, it wasn’t,” said Johnson. Johnson was testifying on the sixth day of the trial looking into a fall of ground May 6, 2014 that killed Marc Methe, 34, and Norm Bisaillon, 49.
The men were employed by contractor Taurus Drilling, which was hired by First Nickel Inc. for production mining at the mine. While 1370918 Alberta ULC (the new owner of Taurus Drilling Services) is represented by counsel, First Nickel Inc., which is now bankrupt and the mine’s owner, do not have representation and will be tried in absentia.
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