‘Thank Goodness the Employee Is Going to Be Just Fine”
OURAY – A miner at the Revenue-Virginius is reportedly in stable condition after an accident Monday, Oct. 1.
According to Ouray County Sheriff Dominic “Junior” Mattivi, the victim was working underground with a jackleg drill, finishing up some rock bolting, when the drill “got away,” pinning him against wall and hitting him against the side of face. The victim sustained damage to his ear and neck.
The accident occurred at approximately 11:30 a.m.
The Ouray County Sheriff’s Department and Ouray County Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to the scene. Mattivi reported that the accident victim was “conscious and talking,” and was transported from the mine to a hospital in a flight-for-life helicopter from Montrose.
The historic Revenue-Virginius mine is located near Yankee Boy Basin, 6.9 miles south of Ouray, above the Camp Bird Mine and below the Ruby Trust. The mine is currently undergoing intensive rehabilitation, executed by Silver Star Resources, a subsidiary of the Denver-based private mining company Star Mine Operations LLC, which under a lease- purchase agreement hopes to bring the historic mine back into production in the near future.
Workers are currently in the process of refurbishing surface facilities and making the 125-year-old underground workings safe for more extensive mining operations.
Star Mine Project Manager Rory Williams said Mine Safety and Health Administration officials investigated the accident Monday and determined that it was “a genuine accident” and that “there was no negligence involved.”
“Thank goodness the employee is going to be just fine,” Williams said. “He is going to make a full recovery.”
Williams explained that the flight-for-life helicopter was called to the scene as a precautionary measure, mainly to ease the comfort level of the patient as he was evacuated. The Revenue-Virginius Mine is accessed via a long, steep, bumpy mountain road.
Apart from Monday’s accident, things are progressing well at the mine, Williams said. A total of 45 miners, mechanics, electricians and other workers are employed there, working in three shifts per day, seven days a week.
“We’ve been meeting with lots of regulators, and we’re happy with the progress we’re making,” he said. Star Mining is currently working with the Division of Reclamation, Mines and Safety to obtain a production permit to allow underground mining at the Revenue-Virginius as soon as 2013.
Currently, construction and rehabilitation work is being done both above- and below-ground. Crews are racing to finish up a shop and warehouse area before the snow flies. “The snow just barely reached the portal level in the last storm,” Williams said.
Samantha Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet @iamsamwright