Sep 29, 2021
By Jane Brown
The grueling rescue operation to get more than 3 dozen trapped miners to the surface west of Sudbury is over and with a successful outcome.
Word came early Wednesday from Vale which owns the Totten Mine, all 39 miners who had been trapped underground had returned to the surface safely.
“I’d like to congratulate our rescue team,” said Vale CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo in a statement.
“Bringing our 39 employees home safe and healthy was our top priority and we’re glad that our emergency plans and procedures worked to deliver that outcome. All the employees are safe now and deserve our deep respect for their perseverance and strong will.”
The workers became trapped in the mine on Sunday when a scoop bucket being sent underground detached and blocked the mine shaft.
Some of the miners were trapped as deep as 1200 metres below the surface, the company said.
They had to scale a series of ladders to climb out of the mine and were helped along by a rescue crew.
The rescue operation began on Monday night.
A team of 58 responders from the company’s rescue team and the Ontario Mine Rescue agency helped the trapped workers through their long trek up the ladder system, the company said.
Bartolomeo said the company will launch an investigation into what happened “so that the company can learn from it and take steps to ensure it never happens again.”
A statement from the province’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development said an inspection team will investigate the incident.
Totten Mine opened in 2014 in Worthington, Ont., and produces copper, nickel and precious metals. It employs about 200 people.