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Mineral Mines & Quarries Inspectorate | Alert | No.425 V 1 | 17 February 2023

Fall of equipment and persons into a stope void

What happened?

On 15 February 2023, a light vehicle and drill rig fell approximately 15 metres into a stope void in the underground workings of the Dugald River mine in North-West Queensland. The operator of the drill rig was rescued with minor injuries but sadly on 16 February, when the light vehicle was recovered from the stope, it was confirmed that two workers were deceased in the vehicle.

How did it happen?

Early investigations suggest that the stope void had been caused due to bogging operations on the level below the area where the light vehicle and drill rig had been operating. It is unknown at this stage why those bogging operations were being carried out.

Key issues


All Operators and Site Senior Executives of underground mines that contain stopes should immediately:

Investigations are ongoing and further information may be published as it becomes available. The information in this publication is what is known at the time of writing.

We issue Safety Notices to draw attention to the occurrence of a serious incident, raise awareness of risks, and prompt assessment of your existing controls.

Authorised by Hermann Fasching - Chief Inspector – Mineral Mines & Quarries

Contact: Rob Henson, Inspector of Mines , +61 7 4745 4114

Issued by Resources Safety & Health Queensland

Safety: This information is issued to promote safety through experience. It is not to be taken as a statement of law and must not be construed to waive or modify any legal obligation.
Placement: Place this announcement on noticeboards and ensure all relevant people in your organisation receive a copy, understand the content, findings and recommendations as applicable to their operation. SSEs should validate that recommendations have been implemented.

All information on this page (Fall of equipment and persons into a stope void - is correct as of time of printing (21 Mar 2023 4:27 am).