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Chief Mines Inspector Leads Sullivan Mine Investigation


May 19, 2006

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

KIMBERLEY – The Province’s Chief Inspector of Mines, Fred Hermann, is leading the investigation into the tragedy that occurred at the Sullivan Mine site, which is currently in the reclamation phase, Minister of State for Mining Bill Bennett confirmed today.

The investigation, which was underway within hours of the incident, will cover all activities related to the four fatalities. It will include ongoing testing of both water and air quality at the site, interviews with all people who had input or activity related to the incident, review of prior mine plans, review of the reclamation plans and any work on site as it pertains to this incident, including chemical analysis by a specialist, and thermal imaging tests, all to better understand the site. All work procedures for all work done on site, including that of the B.C. Ambulance Service as it pertains to this incident, will be reviewed in conjunction with the appropriate agencies.

The Chief Inspector of Mines has not yet determined the cause of the incident. Results of the air and water quality tests will be analyzed and be part of the investigation. The Chief Inspector of Mines will release those results in the final report as well as all other appropriate information gathered as part of this investigation. Also, he may release preliminary results as he considers necessary.

The incident was limited to a small portion of the mine site. This area has been secured and it is being monitored regularly. There is no danger to the public from the incident site.

The Chief Inspector of Mines, a statutory officer, carries out this investigation under the authority of the Mines Act and Mines Regulation. Once complete, this report will be provided to the Provincial Coroner, and will mark the close of the investigation by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.


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