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Mt Lyell reopens with safer technology

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Copper Mines of Tasmania (CMT) has breathed life back into the Mt Lyell mine, saying they will reopen the ailing project, albeit with 88 fewer workers.

CMT have implemented new remote mining equipment to avoid the risk of workers being killed in mud slides.

The mine was closed in January after loader operator Michael Welsh was killed in a mine slide at Mt Lyell.

Approval for the mine development was received from WorkSafe Tasmania in June, with re-establishment of operations coming a month late after it was scheduled for late July.

The mine will continue to employ around 239 people, although 64 positions are no longer necessary across all sections of operation, and another 24 positions are expected to be redundant next year.

CMT general manager Scot Clyde said the new mining methods to be employed at the mine brought a significant change to mine design and operation, which would remove employees from the risk of mud slides.

“While this is good news for the bulk of our employees, the local community and suppliers, it will significantly reduce ore production over the next two years and unfortunately this requires fewer employees,” he said.

CMT owner Vendanta Resources has lost $33.4 million in operational profit in the quarter to March 2014.

Clyde said the mine would carry out exploration drilling and feasibility studies to prove up ore deposits to extend the life of the mine.

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