[Yellowknife] A city divided – by Rachel Zelniker (CBC News Interactives – September 14, 2022)


In 1992, a labour dispute that would last 18 months tore Yellowknife apart, culminating in an explosion that killed nine miners. The fallout of one of Canada’s largest mass murders still lingers in this northern city.

Today, Yellowknife only tangentially resembles its history as a gold mining town. The city sits atop the Canadian Shield, a large expanse of ancient bedrock, one of the world’s richest areas in terms of its mineral ores.

But a dilapidated mining headframe is one of the last vestiges of the area’s days as a gold mining capital. The city’s biggest gold mine has been closed for decades.

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Canadian-owned mining company and executives found guilty of involuntary homicide after Burkina Faso flood disaster – by Geoffrey York and Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – September 14, 2022)


A Canadian-owned mining company and two executives at its zinc mine in Burkina Faso have been convicted of involuntary homicide in connection with a flooding disaster that killed eight mine workers.

The flooding, which followed a sudden torrential rainfall at the site in April, trapped the workers underground and led to a 66-day search that eventually found them dead, several hundred metres below ground, after 165 million litres of water had been pumped out of the mine.

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‘Treated as guinea pigs’: Ontario miners await apology after being forced to inhale McIntyre powder – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – September 9, 2022)


Former miners were forced to inhale an aluminum powder in Ontario between 1943 and 1979 that is now linked with Parkinson’s disease

In the late 1970s, a 20-year-old Roger Genoe would try to sneak through the tunnels of an Ontario uranium mine to avoid a room where he and other workers were forced to inhale an aluminum powder that was supposed to be a preventive step against silicotic lung disease.

“They would catch you and send you back there. If you didn’t go you would get penalized,” Genoe, now 66, said on Thursday during a conference call by the New Solutions journal that featured former miners who were forced to inhale McIntyre powder in Ontario between 1943 and 1979, when authorities were trying to tackle the rise in cases of silicosis.

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Trapped Mexico miners: Setback as water levels rise – by Vanessa Buschschlüter (BBC.com – August 15, 2022)


Attempts to rescue 10 men from a flooded mine in Mexico have been delayed after the water levels in three shafts rose suddenly on Sunday. The miners became trapped on 3 August when a wall in a tunnel collapsed and water from an adjacent chamber gushed into the three shafts.

Officials say the water has to drop to a depth of 1.5m (5ft) to allow rescuers to enter the shafts safely. But on Sunday, it suddenly rose again to more than 20m.

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For those who were there, June 20, 1984, remains fresh as ever – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – June 21, 2022)


Four miners died following a massive rockburst struck Falconbridge Mine

The massive rockburst that struck Falconbridge Mine at about 10:12 a.m. June 20, 1984, that claimed four lives has left Rick Grylls and Tom Rannelli with memories that will never fade.

Grylls, a past president of the Mine Mill Local 598/Unifor union that represents production and maintenance workers at the former Falconbridge Limited (now Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations), had just put the electrical in the stope at the mine the week before He was embarking on a new job as financial secretary of his union when disaster struck.

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Milliman: Black-Lung Liabilities Top $9 Billion as Coal Industry Shrinks – by William Rabb (Claims Journal – June 9, 2022)


The U.S. coal industry may be shrinking rapidly as the country shifts to renewable energy, but insurers’ and self-insured companies’ liabilities for black-lung occupational disease claims have ballooned – to an estimated $9 billion and perhaps more than $14 billion.

pastedGraphic.pngThat’s according to a recent report from Milliman, the global actuarial and consulting firm. The study’s authors took a first-ever look at the cost of existing and future claims, payments for which will continue for years to come.

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Authorities hope to reach survivors trapped in Canadian-owned mine in Burkina Faso – by Georgie Smyth (CBC News World – May 10, 2022)


The race to reach eight workers trapped in a flooded, Canadian-owned zinc mine in West Africa is making progress. Trevali Mining Corp. says access to its Perkoa Mine in Burkina Faso is improving after more than 32 million litres of water were pumped out of the shaft.

Workers became trapped more than 500 metres below the surface on April 16, after heavy rain caused flash flooding which breached two embankments outside the mine, said Trevali in a statement to CBC News on Tuesday. Sixteen other workers underground at the time were able to escape.

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Nova Scotia: March, memorial service to mark 30th anniversary of Westray disaster – by Paul Palmeter (CBC News Nova Scotia – May 9, 2022)


26 men died in underground explosion at Pictou County mine

Joe MacKay will never forget the explosion at the Westray mine 30 years ago today. The underground explosion in Plymouth, N.S., killed 26 miners. One of them was MacKay’s brother, Mike. “He loved his bikes, including a chopper he just thought the world of,” said MacKay. “He loved his family. His kids meant everything to him.”

Mike MacKay was 38. He was the father of two young children. Like the other men who worked at the mine, he had only been working there for nine months after it opened in September 1991.

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25,000 miners told to use harmful McIntyre Powder fail to get Ontario apology (CBC Sudbury – April 28, 2022)


Northern miners were required to breathe in ground aluminum dust from 1943 to 1979

Friends, family and advocates for the 25,000 miners who were forced to inhale McIntyre Powder walked away from the Legislative Assembly on Thursday without the Ontario apology they were expecting.

Northern miners were required to breathe in the ground aluminum dust, known as McIntyre Powder, before they started their shifts from 1943 until 1979.

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NEWS RELEASE: Uranium miner’s daughter “breaks the trail” for victims of toxic aluminum dust “treatment” (United Steelworkers – February 8, 2022)


TORONTO – A decade-long campaign led by the daughter of a deceased uranium miner has led to victory for workers struck by Parkinson’s disease after being subjected to aluminum dust inhalation “treatments” in their jobs.

Supported by her union, the United Steelworkers (USW), and other worker advocacy organizations, Janice Martell waged a relentless campaign to compel Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to recognize Parkinson’s as an occupational disease linked to the use of so-called McIntyre Powder in mining and other industries.

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In Russia, Coal Is Still King. And The Government Wants Even More. – by Mike Eckel (Radio Free Europe – December 2, 2021)


The methane built up silently, first in the ceilings of the Russian coal shaft, then expanding downward, possibly undetected, until an errant spark ignited the cloud, setting off an explosion. Dozens of people — both miners and rescuers — were killed.

No, this wasn’t the tragedy that hit the Listvyazhnaya mine in Russia’s famed Kuzbass coal basin last week. This was another disaster that struck 11 years ago at another mine, Raspadskaya, about a three-hour drive to the southeast, also in the Kuzbass.

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Russia mourns 51 killed in mining disaster, police make arrests – by Tom Balmforth (Reuters – November 26, 2021)


MOSCOW, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Police in Siberia arrested two safety inspectors suspected of criminal negligence on Friday as Russia’s coal mining heartland mourned the deaths of 51 people in one of its worst mine disasters since Soviet times.

Regional governor Sergei Tsivilyov said a methane explosion was the likely cause of Thursday’s accident at the mine near the town of Belovo. The dead included five rescuers sent to bring out dozens of men stuck deep underground, he said.

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‘Ignored for 70 years’: human rights group to investigate uranium contamination on Navajo Nation – by Cody Nelson (The Guardian – October 27, 2021)


Rita Capitan has been worrying about her water since 1994. It was that autumn she read a local newspaper article about another uranium mine, the Crownpoint Uranium Project, getting under way near her home.

Capitan has spent her entire life in Crownpoint, New Mexico, a small town on the eastern Navajo Nation, and is no stranger to the uranium mining that has persisted in the region for decades. But it was around the time the article was published that she began learning about the many risks associated with uranium mining.

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‘We just gave’r’: Exhausted rescuers used double-pulley system to raise trapped Totten miners – by Laim Casey (Sudbury Star – October 7, 2021)


Canadian Press – Danny Taillefer and Jason Leger were in the middle of a first aid refresher course when the phone rang. Shawn Rideout, the chief rescue officer with Ontario Mine Rescue, was on the other end. There were 39 miners stuck underground at Totten Mine near Sudbury, Ont., after the mine shaft was compromised, he said.

There was another way out: climbing a complex warren of ladders at the Vale-owned mine from about a kilometre underground. Taillefer and Leger — mine rescue officers with the non-profit who were based in Timmins, Ont. — were told they were needed for a complicated mission, and instructed to bring several hundred kilograms of rope and other gear.

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Vale miner describes long climb out of Sudbury’s Totten Mine – by Heidi Ulrichsen (Northern Ontario Business/Sudbury.com – September 30, 2021)


At 60 years old, Perry Venedam was one of the oldest miners stranded underground at Vale’s Totten Mine on Sunday after a piece of equipment being slung to the bottom became lodged in the shaft and put the cage lift system out of operation.

Along with 39 other Vale employees, he was forced to use a secondary egress ladder system to ascend out of the mine with the help of mine rescuers, who ensured they were able to climb safely with the help of fall arrest equipment.

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