An underground blasting accident that occurred at Canadian company Leagold Mining’s Fazenda mine in Brazil has claimed the lives of two workers and injured three others.

Following the incident, the company restarted the majority operations at Fazenda, while the mine’s underground operations remain suspended.

Reuters quoted Leagold Mining investor relations vice-president Meghan Brown as saying that the company had started an investigation to determine the cause of the blast.

Leagold Mining CEO Neil Woodyer said: “On behalf of the entire Leagold Board and management team I send sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and also our support for the injured workers.

“We are working with the authorities to fully understand the cause of the accident and a thorough investigation is underway. The area of the accident has been sealed off. We are providing full support to the families of the victims.”

Located within the Maria Preta mining district in Bahia State, Brazil, the Fazenda mine covers about 63,400ha.

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“We are working with the authorities to fully understand the cause of the accident and a thorough investigation is underway.”

It has been operational for more than 30 years and is being mined by conventional retreat longitudinal longhole open stoping with a 1.3 Mtpa carbon-in-leach (CIL) milling facility. The main mineralisation at the mine is in the form of sulphide-bearing quartz veining.

Leagold owns four operating gold mines in Mexico and Brazil, along with a near-term gold mine restart project in Brazil.

The news follows the collapse of a dam at an iron ore mine managed by Brazil’s Vale in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, earlier this year. The incident claimed the lives of 169 people, and had led to new regulations being imposed on the Brazilian mining sector.