NT WorkSafe sues OM Manganese mining company over workplace death at Bootu Creek Mine

NT WorkSafe sues OM Manganese mining company over workplace death at Bootu Creek Mine

A mining company faces fines of up to $35 million for the death of a worker in the Northern Territory two years ago.

Mine overseer Craig Butler was killed after a wall collapsed in August 2019 at the Bootu Creek Mine, north of Tennant Creek.

The NT’s occupational safety watchdog took legal action today against the mine operator, OM Manganese, and has filed a total of 24 charges.

The mine’s chief operating officer, Trevor Cook, is also facing 14 charges.

“In August 2019, the mine superintendent entered the open-cut pit known as Tourag Pit after four workers, entering the pit, reported seeing sediment sliding off the wall earlier that day,” NT WorkSafe said in a statement.

“During the day, nine workers entered the well to carry out their duties.

Tragically, part of the wall gave way and buried the mine warden while inspecting the wall.

“At the time of the incident, two workers nearby were in the pit and escaped without injuries.”

The charges against the company include “reckless conduct for failing to ensure the health and safety of its employees”.

The charges against Mr Cook include “reckless conduct for failing to perform his duties as an employee to reasonably ensure that his act or omission did not harm the health and safety of other persons”.

NT WorkSafe said that if found guilty of all charges, the company could face a combined maximum penalty of $35 million — the highest ever fine for a workplace death in the NT.

It said Mr Cook could face a maximum fine of $2.1 million, or five years in prison, or both.

The case is expected to be heard in Darwin Local Court on October 12.

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