June 9, 2011 / 6:00 PM / in 6 years

Accident kills 2 at Vale's Sudbury mine

TORONTO (Reuters) - Two workers died after they were hit by waste debris being removed from Brazilian miner Vale’s Stobie underground copper-nickel mine in Sudbury, Ontario, officials said on Thursday.

The employees were working in a shaft about 1,000 metres below the surface on Wednesday evening when the accident occurred, and were dead when rescuers reached the scene, the company said.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known, but the victims were both veteran employees, Vale said.

Mine operations are suspended pending an investigation and it was not known when they will be restarted, officials said.

Vale’s two smelting furnaces in Sudbury are shut down for maintenance and are not expected to begin processing ore again until the end of the month.

Reporting by Euan Rocha, Allan Dowd; editing by Peter Galloway

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