Skip cable accident leads to temporary 777 suspension, no injuries reported

Workers, vehicles being sent to Snow Lake, Lalor for use in interim

An accident in the shaft of 777 mine has temporarily suspended most operations at the site. No injuries have been reported by the company.

A report released to Hudbay employees and obtained by The Reminder Oct. 10 states the accident took place Oct. 9 during what is referred to as a "double down" - routine cable maintenance for the underground skip (a bucket used to haul ore and rock from underground drifts to surface) and cage. During a double down on the skip cable, the skip got loose from the cable, tumbling all the way down from the headframe to the bottom of the 777 main shaft. 

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"No one was injured and everyone working underground was able to come to surface via the ramp," reads the notice, signed off on by Hudbay Manitoba Business Unit vice-president Rob Assabgui.

The amount of damage that the fall may have done to the shaft is not yet known, but while repairs are underway, most 777 mine operations will be suspended. It is unknown how long the mine will be closed off for.

"As the shaft is the main means of egress, work at 777 mine has been suspended, except for the activities to safely repair the shaft and care and maintenance activities for our pumping and electrical infrastructure," reads the notice.

While repairs take place at 777 and production is interrupted, Hudbay is developing a plan to move workers and equipment to Snow Lake and Lalor mine. The Flin Flon mill, left with no ore to process due to the suspension at 777, will also be "disrupted", though it is not yet known if work in the mill will be suspended completely pending the repairs.

"We are working towards understanding the extent of the damage to the shaft and the extent of the production interruption at 777 mine, and in parallel, developing a business continuity plan to temporarily relocate equipment and people to our Snow Lake operations, so that we can mitigate the production losses at 777 mine with additional production from Lalor mine," reads the notice. 

"Our collective efforts to safely repair the damage at 777 mine, redeployment of people and equipment to Snow Lake is critical to ensure there is enough feed for the zinc plant during this disruption."

© Copyright Flin Flon Reminder

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