Three miners die in mine accident in Quebec

Tue Nov 3, 2009 11:37am EST
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By Euan Rocha

TORONTO (Reuters) - Metanor Resources Inc said on Tuesday the bodies of all three missing miners have been found following an accident at its Bachelor Lake gold mine in northwestern Quebec.

The accident occurred late on Friday, when a section of the mine about 500 meters (1,600 feet) below the surface flooded. The junior Canadian gold miner has suspended operations at the site.

Rescue workers had worked frantically for three days to pump water out of the mine in the hope of rescuing the trapped miners.

Metanor said the circumstances of the accident are currently unknown, while adding that it is working closely with authorities.

A spokeswoman for the Quebec Provincial Police told Reuters that authorities have begun an investigation into whether criminal negligence had led to the accident at the mine.

Metanor initially acquired a 50 percent stake in the Bachelor Lake property in 2004 from Campbell Resources. In 2006, it acquired the remaining interest in the operation from Halo Resources.

The underground mine, which had produced about 130,000 ounces of gold in the 1980s, required significant capital to rehabilitate.

Metanor acquired the nearby Barry open-pit mine in 2006 to feed its mill at Bachelor Lake and generate the cash flow that would allow it to finance the redevelopment of the higher-grade Bachelor Lake mine.   Continued...