An aerial photo of Macraes mine.
A massive slip at the open pit of the Macraes Gold Mine
in Otago cut off access to underground workers, mining company
Oceana Gold says.
The company confirmed the slip occurred yesterday following
heavy rain in the area.
The mine site, which consists of an open pit, an underground
mine and an adjacent processing plant, is located between
Palmerston and Ranfurly.
"At the Macraes open pit operation, located at Macraes Flat,
Otago, a section of the west wall failed following heavy
rainfall," Oceana Gold said in a statement.
"The wall was being continuously monitored and there were not
personnel working in the open pit at the time of the failure.
Access to the underground mine was cut off by the failure,
but the underground mine itself is unaffected."
All staff who were working underground were brought safely to
APNZ understand the workers were flown to safety by
helicopter, and the mine closed as a result of the slip.
Oceana Gold said it expected "minimal impact" on its
short-term production, with stockpiles of ore available for
Worksafe NZ confirmed an investigator was on their way to the
mine site today.
Earlier this year, 39 Gough Group employees working at the
Macraes mine were laid off as a result of cost-cutting
measures at Oceana Gold.