Earthquake Shuts WA Mines

19 April 2010 (Last Updated April 19th, 2010 18:30)

An earthquake measuring 5.2 that hit the Kalgoorlie mining region in Western Australia has led to the closure of all mines in the area, including the Super Pit gold mine. Evacuations were carried out as a precautionary measure after the quake, felt almost 19 miles north-east of the town

An earthquake measuring 5.2 that hit the Kalgoorlie mining region in Western Australia has led to the closure of all mines in the area, including the Super Pit gold mine.

Evacuations were carried out as a precautionary measure after the quake, felt almost 19 miles north-east of the town of Kalgoorlie as well as in the nearby mining town of Boulder, damaged several buildings.

The Super Pit mine, the largest operation in the region producing about 850,000oz of gold a year, was initially expected to be closed for four to six hours.

It was unknown at the time of writing if the mine had reopened.

The 50-50 venture of Newmont Mining and Barrick Gold, Super Pit is a giant hole dominating one end of Kalgoorlie's business district measuring 2.2 miles long, one mile wide and 512m deep.

A spokeswoman for BHP Billiton, which also has mines in the region, said checks were underway to determine if any of its operations in the area had been affected by the quake.