Poland copper mine cave-in claims two lives

Image of the Polkowice-Sieroszowice mine, courtesy of KGHM.

A cave-in at a copper and silver mine owned by KGHM Polska Miedz SA in Poland has resulted in two deaths and one serious injury. The injured worker was hospitalized.

According to a company spokesperson, the incident occurred on Friday night at the Polkowice-Sieroszowice mine when part of a ceiling collapsed.

Fatalities at KGHM’s mines and copper mills in Poland this year have now reached six, said a weekend report by Associated Press.

Located west of the town of Polkowice, in Lower Silesia, underground mining at the Polkowice mine started in 1962, and at Sieroszowice in 1980. The company notes that mining the deep ore deposit in the adjacent Deep Głogów area represents the largest deep deposit mining project in Europe. It was not clear from media reports in which of the four deposits the miners were working when the accident happened.

“Mining is performed using blasting technology with various room-pillar systems with roof settlement, depending on the parameters of individual mining areas and fields,” reads a project page on KGHM’s website.

The partly state-owned company is the second-largest silver producer in the world behind Fresnillo plc (LON:FRES), according to the annual World Silver Survey published by Thomson Reuters GFMS. KGHM was number 1 in 2015.

In 2012 it bought Canada’s Quadra FNX Mining Ltd. for CAD$2.87 billion, which was the largest overseas acquisition by a Polish company.

KGHM has mines in Poland, Chile, Canada and the United States.

226 0