A broken cable could have led to damage of an ore haulage system at BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam, according to mining union members.

Speaking with Australia’s ABC, Construction, Forestry Mining and Energy Union representative Martin O’Malley said union members at the South Australian mine “felt it was most likely a break in a cable”.

BHP Billiton said investigations into the cause of the incident, which reportedly downgraded operations yesterday, were being investigated and that a second haulage system was operating in the secondary Whenan shaft.

The Clark shaft supplies ore from underground to the surface for processing – it failed during operations on Tuesday night. No injuries were reported.

SafeWork SA and the haulage system design team are investigating the incident and are expected to conclude in two weeks time along with government and company investigations.