Archive | Mining Accidents, Deaths, Cave-Ins and Industrial Disease

Coal Mine Disaster: An International Perspective – by John Kinnear (Crowsnest Pass – July 20, 2016)

A special committee in Sparwood is now hard at work planning the commemoration of the last major mine disaster to occur in the Crowsnest Pass/Elk Valley area. Like Hillcrest, this will be a major effort next spring to permanently acknowledge the loss of those fifteen men at Balmer North on April 3, 1967 and also every coal miner ever lost in the Michel/Natal area.

As far as disasters go the 1914 Hillcrest Disaster stands as the date in Canadian history when the worst loss of life in a coal mine occurred. But Canada is not alone in this regard; when it comes to tragic mining losses our numbers pale in comparison when one looks worldwide. This comparison was a painful one to research but will help the reader put our losses into an international perspective.

On April 26, 1942 the world’s worst underground mine disaster happened in Japanese-occupied Manchuria when 1,549 Chinese miners died at the Benxihu Colliery. Continue Reading →

Glencore impeded probe, ministry alleges – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – July 21, 2016)

Representatives for Glencore Canada Corporation are scheduled to appear in court Aug. 27 on two charges in connection with the investigation into the death of a Sudbury miner.

Richard Pigeau, 54, who had more than 20 years’ experience working underground, was killed Oct. 20, 2015, by a piece of equipment in the nickel mine operated by Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations, a Glencore company.

The Sudbury Star has learned that two charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act were laid against Sudbury INO’s parent company June 22 in relation to a warrant issued against the company April 18. The charges were laid by the Ministry of Labour following an investigation. Continue Reading →

Mining houses pledge support for fight against HIV/Aids – by David Oliveira ( – July 18, 2016)

JOHANNESBURG ( – Major miners Anglo American and Harmony Gold have pledged their support for the United Nations’ HIV/Aids organisation UNAids’ global #ProTEST HIV campaign.

The campaign is aimed at positively contributing to the goal of ending HIV/Aids by 2030, by highlighting the importance of voluntary HIV testing, which is a critical intervention to help link care and support for those infected with HIV and other prevention programmes.

On the occasion of the twenty-first International AIDS Conference, being held at the Durban International Convention Centre, in KwaZulu-Natal, Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani on Monday said the company’s partnership with UNAids would assist in achieving the first HIV-free generation by 2030. Continue Reading →

Light at the end of the tunnel for silicosis victims – by Liesl Peyper (MiningMx – July 14, 2016)

IT has been a difficult year for the mining industry insofar as health and safety has been concerned, but the tide is turning for a large number of mineworkers and their families who are set to receive compensation for silicosis.

In March this year, some 4,365 claimants who sued Anglo American SA and AngloGold Ashanti for the lung diseases silicosis and silico-tuberculosis, reached a landmark settlement with the two mining companies.

In accordance with the settlement, a compensation amount of R454m will be paid to the Qhubeka Trust for distribution among the claimants who meet the criteria for payment. This was the first large-scale settlement of silicosis litigation in South Africa. Continue Reading →

Clinic studying link between McIntyre Powder and workplace disease – by Lindsay Kelly(Northern Ontario Business – July 13, 2016)

Can a link be made between aluminum powder administered to miners over more than three decades and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)?

Advocates are hoping a growing body of anecdotal research will demonstrate a link between aluminum and occupational disease and force more scientific study on the subject.

In May, Timmins played host to an intake clinic designed to catalogue the experiences, job histories and illnesses of miners who have worked in Northern Ontario mines and were mandated to inhale a finely ground aluminum dust called McIntyre Powder as part of their employment. Continue Reading →

Miners recall use of black powder during employment – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – July 12, 2016)

Danny Hway vividly remembers the impact McIntyre Powder had on his father, Nicholas, who worked at Timmins’ McIntyre Mine for 47 years. At home, his dad wouldn’t speak of it, but he didn’t need to. His grim appearance at the end of every shift did the talking for him.

“He’d come home and his hands were black all the time, and any exposed skin was black,” Danny recalled. “He’d be coughing all the time and, blowing his nose, it was black all the time. He didn’t really want to talk about it — (that’s) life, right?”

Nicholas was one of thousands of miners across the North who were required to inhale the finely ground aluminum dust as a condition of their employment. But for him the stakes were higher than for most: preparing the powder for dissemination was his job. Continue Reading →