A shift of dumps occurred at one of the working sections of Kumtor mine on December 1 at about 5.30 am. As a result, according to preliminary data, two people – employees of the company – went missing.
According to Kumtor Gold Company, search for the missing is underway. Law enforcement authorities and the Ministry of Emergency Situations were informed about the incident.
Additional forces were attracted to search for missing employees of Kumtor mine, press service of the government of Kyrgyzstan reported.
At the instruction of the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Mukhammedkaly Abylgaziev, employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the State Inspectorate for Environmental and Technical Safety left for Kumtor mine in Issyk-Kul region to clarify the circumstances at the scene. The head of government instructed to take all necessary measures to search for the missing citizens at Kumtor mine.
A bulldozer driver and a foreman, who were on the night shift, went missing in the morning of December 1.
According to preliminary information, a dramatic failure occurred at Kumtor mine at the Lysii waste rock dump, at approximately 5:43 a.m. on December 1. Kumtor initiated an emergency evacuation of all mine personnel from the area and an immediate cessation of mining operations.
The company has notified all relevant government authorities and the two employee’s families.
Open pit mining operations have been temporarily halted and the mine plan is being re-evaluated. The company will not be in a position to make any comments about the re-start of mining operations until the search and rescue efforts have been completed and a revised mine plan has been developed.
Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Mukhammedkaly Abylgaziev instructed to step up search and rescue operations at Kumtor mine.
The head of the Government instructed to mobilize all efforts to search for the missing Kumtor employees, to increase, if necessary, the number of people involved in the search and to find out the reasons for the happened.
“Due to the production necessity, one of the mining department foremen was driving up by a Ford service pickup truck and, probably, after receiving the signal about the immediate evacuation, took the bulldozer driver with him for transportation to a safe area. However, after recounting of all evacuated employees of the mining department, it was found that the driver of the bulldozer and the foreman of the mining department were absent, and did not respond to repeated calls on the radio,” the Cabinet said.
Access of equipment and people to the dangerous zone was completely stopped. Both workers are currently reported as missing. Their close relatives and state bodies were informed about the incident.
The search and rescue operations involve 26 rescuers of the Ministry of Emergencies, search dogs, and 12 members of the Kumtor Gold Company emergency rescue team. All the necessary equipment is involved in the search.
“Work to determine the causes of the incident is carried out jointly with the relevant state bodies. After the incident, the production process was temporarily suspended. The site where the dump has abruptly shifted does not threaten the main production facilities of the mine and is located at a safe distance from the central pit, tailings and Petrov lake. Dumps, which are waste rocks, do not contain any harmful substances and do not pose a threat to the environment,” the government stressed. (24.kg/Ukrainian metal)